India, ASEAN striving to expand trade despite India’s exit from RCEP hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: Nikkei)

New Delhi (VNA) – India and ASEAN countries said they will explore ways to increase trade despite India’s exit from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.

“As far as India is concerned, we did not join RCEP as it does not address the outstanding issues and concerns of India. However, we remain committed to deepening our trade relations with ASEAN,” said Secretary of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs in charge of the East Riva Ganguly Das, briefing journalists about the 17th ASEAN-India Summit that Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on November 12.

The free trade agreement, which India walked out from a year ago, is expected to be signed on November 15 between the 10 ASEAN members and China, Australia, the Republic of Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

In November 2019, PM Modi told the RCEP summit that India was walking out of the deal after negotiations for more than six years.

ASEAN is India’s fourth largest trading partner with two-way trade of 86.9 billion USD./.