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Opinion

India makes historic blunder in abandoning RCEP trade deal

Faced with tough reforms, Narendra Modi chose easy option of walking away

| India
Narendra Modi at the ASEAN-India Summit in Bangkok on Nov. 3: the real loser will be India itself.   © Reuters

It is hard to view India's decision to abandon the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade deal, or RCEP, as anything other than a historic blunder.

At the ASEAN Summit in Bangkok on Nov. 4, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was expected, after years of grinding negotiation, to sign up to the 16-nation agreement. Instead, he told fellow Asian leaders that India was out.

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