RCEP should not lead to job losses, hurt ‘Make in India’ initiative: SIAM

New Delhi: Proposed mega trade deal RCEP should not lead to job losses, and hurt the government's Make in India initiative, auto industry body SIAM cautioned on Friday ahead of the trade ministers' meeting of the bloc in Bangkok.

Trade ministers of RCEP countries will discuss issues related to investment, e-commerce, rules of origin and trade remedies in a meeting in Bangkok on October 12.

According to SIAM, while there has to be give and take being a part of the global economy, under such trade agreements imports of completely built units (CBUs) of automobiles must not be allowed.

"Being a part of global trade, there are gives and takes. What we are only saying is that the government should be mindful of two things and I am confident that the government is. Any such thing (RCEP and free trade agreements) should not result in job losses and hurt Make in India," SIAM President Rajan Wadhera told reporters here.

He was responding to a query on SIAM's views on RCEP.

The RCEP bloc comprises 10 Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) nations (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam) and their six FTA partners - India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

Wadhera further said,"No CBU import should be allowed (under the pact)." Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has been maintaining that free trade agreements (FTAs) with competing countries do not benefit Indian automobile industry.

It has demanded that 28 items, including hybrid, electric cars and three-wheelers, be kept out of the purview of all such pacts.

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