Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned to New Delhi on Tuesday concluding his three-day visit to Thailand where he participated in ASEAN- India, East Asia and RCEP summits.
On November 4, India decided not to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement as its key concerns have not been addressed.
The prime minister in his statement said that "The present form of the RCEP agreement does not fully reflect the basic spirit and the agreed guiding principles of RCEP and does not address satisfactorily India's outstanding issues and concerns."
"In such a situation, it is not possible for India to join the RCEP agreement," the Prime Minister said. During his stay in the south-east Asian nation, Prime Minister Modi also participated in several bilateral meetings including with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, Vietnam counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.
He also attended a special lunch with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders to discuss the issue of sustainable development.
The prime minister had attended the third Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the 14th East Asia Summits along with the delegates from other countries. On Sunday, PM Modi co-chaired the 16th ASEAN-India summit with his Thailand counterpart Prayut Chan-o-cha, on whose invitation he visited the country.
RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement among ten ASEAN countries, namely, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam and their six FTA partners China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
On the first day of his visit, Modi had addressed the Indian diaspora at the 'Sawasdee PM Modi' community programme in Bangkok.