China is arranging talks with India to address the latter’s concerns regarding an Asian free trade pact led by Beijing, sources told Bloomberg.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Agreement, which incorporates 16 Asian countries, has met roadblocks from some signatories who fear that the conditions will unfairly benefit Chinese exports without meeting demands for greater cross-border mobility for professionals in the tech sector.
The meeting will likely be scheduled for sometime in January, the sources said. Indian representatives will prepare in advance a list of issues with the deal, including a proposal for zero-duty access to fewer Chinese goods and a longer phase-out period for tariffs on Chinese imports than the 20 years under the existing deal arrangement.
Beijing is keen to wrap up the deal by the end of 2019, which, alongside the Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, reflects China’s growing economic and political ambitions in the region.