India seeks safeguards in China-led trade pact

Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways and Coal of India, attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India wants safeguards to be built into a China-led trade pact to prevent a sudden surge in imports, the Indian trade ministry said on Wednesday as a new round of talks begin in Thailand.

Negotiators for the 16-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) are in Bangkok this week for talks aimed at finalising the giant free trade zone by the end of the year.

Indian Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal has been holding talks to allay fears of a flood of Chinese imports if New Delhi joined the agreement, the ministry said.

"The focus and emphasis of the meetings chaired by the Commerce and Industry Minister was on putting in place appropriate safeguards including auto-trigger mechanism against sudden surge in imports from RCEP countries," it said in a statement.

It also said that key areas that were not yet settled in the proposed pact are e-commerce, rules of origin and trade remedies.

(Reporting by Neha Dasgupta; Writing by Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)