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The Nikkei View

RCEP members must keep India in the fold

Withdrawal of major Asian economy would rob pact of much of its meaning

Leaders pose for a photo at the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership summit in Bangkok on Nov. 4.

Asia-Pacific nations in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership finally reached an accord this week on a text acceptable to all parties -- save for India. The South Asian country's opposition to such large-scale trade liberalization forced leaders to give up on sealing a deal this year.

New Delhi has signaled that it may withdraw from the talks altogether, which would result in a deal that fails to deliver on its initial promise. As the 15 remaining members hash out the final details with an eye toward a 2020 signing, they should keep working to bring India back on board for a complete 16-member RCEP.

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