Reading a newspaper’s editorial is an excellent way to update your awareness, augment your word power and to increase your reading speed. It is for this reason that we are bringing to you a list of difficult words/phrases used in today’s editorial of The Hindu. This editorial discusses “India’s status in RCEP”. We have encompassed the words, their sense (as used in the editorial) in English and Hindi to help you in understanding the word better. Let’s have a look at the editorial.
RCEP next steps: on India’s free trade agreement
India cannot afford to fall out (to have an argument or disagreement that ends a relationship; एक तर्क या असहमति जिससे एक सम्बन्ध समाप्त होता है) of the free trade agreement negotiations
Leaders of the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations have resoundingly (in an emphatic manner; ज़ोरदार तरीक़े से ) committed to conclude negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership free trade agreement by the end of 2019. Some like the Malaysian Prime Minister went a step further, suggesting that countries not ready to join the RCEP, notably India but also Australia and New Zealand, could join at a later date, allowing a truncated (shortened; छोटा ) 13-member RCEP to go ahead (to give them permission to start to do something; शुरुआत करने के लिए अनुमति देना ). Others insist that all 16 members must agree on the final RCEP document. It is clear that ASEAN, which first promoted the RCEP idea in 2012, is putting pressure on all stakeholders to complete the last-mile negotiations. The ASEAN summit, which ended in Bangkok on Sunday, agreed to send a three-member delegation to New Delhi to take forward the talks. RCEP includes ASEAN’s FTA partners — India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand — and the FTA would encompass (cover; घेरना ) 40% of all global trade among economies that make up (to combine together to form something larger; कुछ बड़ा बनाने के लिए एक साथ संयोजन ) a third of global GDP. India has been keen to join. But six years into negotiations, its concerns remain: opening its markets for cheaper goods from countries like China and South Korea; and ensuring that RCEP countries open their markets for Indian manpower (services).
India has a trade deficit (the amount by which the cost of a country’s imports exceeds the value of its exports; व्यापार घाटा / वह राशि जिसके द्वारा किसी देश के आयात की लागत उसके निर्यात के मूल्य से अधिक हो जाती है ) with as many as 11 of the RCEP countries, and it is the only one among them that isn’t negotiating a bilateral or multilateral free trade agreement with China at present. As a result, although negotiators have agreed to New Delhi’s demand for differential tariffs (a type of customs duty with different rates for the same goods; समान वस्तुओं पर सीमा शुल्क पर अलग दर लगाना ) for its trade with China vis-à-vis (in relation to; के संबंध में ) the others, India has also made tagging the “Country of Origin” on all products a sticking point (a point on which it is not possible to reach an agreement; एक ऐसा बिंदु जिस पर किसी समझौते तक पहुंचना संभव नहीं है ) in RCEP negotiations. Despite its misgivings, however, the government has reiterated (to say something again; किसी बात को दोहराना ) that it is committed to making RCEP work, and any attempt to cut India out of the agreement was “extremely premature”. In the next few months, India will be expected to keep up intense negotiations, and most important, give a clear indication both internally and to the world that it is joining RCEP. To that end, the Commerce Ministry has begun consultations with stakeholders from industries that are most worried about RCEP, including steel and aluminium, copper, textile and pharmaceuticals, and has engaged think tanks and management institutes to develop a consensus in favour of signing the regional agreement. Giving up (to stop doing something that you are trying hard to do; कुछ ऐसा करने से रोकना जिसे आप करने की कोशिश कर रहे हैं ) the chance to join RCEP would mean India would not just miss out on regional trade, but also lose the ability to frame the rules as well as investment standards for the grouping. Above all, at a time of global uncertainties and challenges to multilateralism and the international economic order, a negative message on RCEP would undermine India’s plans for economic growth.
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