"For India to reach its ambiguous economic growth targets, it needs to be integrated into global trade pacts, especially those that drive commerce in the dynamic Asia Pacific region," said Mukesh Aghi, president of US India Business Council (USIBC)after the deal on TPP was announced by the US and 11 other countries yesterday.

The 12 countries Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Vietnam constitute 40 per cent of the global economy.

"India's exploration of APEC membership, which is currently an informal precursor to TPP membership can unlock India's potential as a global manufacturing hub and deepen its ties with the global economy," Aghi said

In fact USIBC's outgoing Chairman Ajay Banga of MasterCard has been strongly arguing in favor of India joining TPP.

"APEC membership would help prepare India to participate in the emerging mega-regional trade arrangements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) that will define the future of global trade," said Banga and the former Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.

Aghi said that recent study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics demonstrates that if India were to complete its domestic reforms and join an ambitious TPP agreement that included all of the APEC countries, it could potentially expand exports by more than USD 500 billion per year.

"On the other hand, if it were to stand outside the negotiations, while other countries entered a regional trade agreement, the Peterson study forecasts export losses of USD 50 billion per year, as trade is diverted away from India," Aghi said.

 

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