Pressure is mounting on India to open up its more than $300 billion-worth public procurement market under the proposed mega Free Trade Agreement (FTA) called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Public/government procurement broadly refers to the process by which government (at the Central, State and local levels), its agencies/departments and State-owned enterprises procure goods and/or services only for their own use, and not for sale/resale commercially.
Official sources told The Hindu that an increasing number of countries including China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand as well as a few from the 10-member ASEAN bloc including Singapore and Malaysia, were pushing for binding commitments to mutually liberalise government procurement markets in the 16 Asia Pacific nations, including themselves and India involved in the mega-FTA talks. Incidentally, during the ongoing 19th round of the RCEP Trade Negotiating Committee meeting at the technical level being held at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre, the 16 countries agreed to constitute a Working Group on government procurement to take forward negotiations on the topic and include it as a separate chapter in the final agreement, sources said.
Read the full story at http://www.thehindu.com/business/india-pressed-to-open-up-procurement/article19366016.ece
SOURCE: The Hindu