The issue of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is an important one for India both from a political as well as strategic point of view. Given the situation of India’s bilateral trade deficit with China and the situation of trade imbalance with other RCEP countries, the author proposes a phased regional integration that will be more sustainable for India and accrue greater benefits for the entire region.

The author also identifies a seven point strategy to be taken internally in India to develop competitiveness in several of the value added products. The steps include building a robust industrial and export friendly infrastructure; reorienting India’s industrial and trade policies to align with RCEP objectives; advancing India’s trade facilitation action plan; ensuring quality imports and exports and providing WTO consistent incentives and support measures for trade and industry.