NEW DELHI: India is expected to host in July next year the negotiations for mega trade deal RCEP which aims at liberalising norms for trade in goods and services and boost investment among 16-member countries.

“This will be a crucial meeting of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP),” an official said.

Currently the member countries are deliberating upon the single-tier system of duty relaxation under the proposed pact.

Under this system, the members have to finalise the maximum number of goods on which duties will either be eliminated or reduced significantly.

The agreement aims to cover goods, services, investments, economic and technical cooperation, competition and intellectual property rights.

As the domestic industry has apprehensions over a deluge in imports from countries such as China after the duty cut under the agreement, India wants certain deviations for such countries.

Under deviations, India may propose a longer duration for either reduction or elimination of import duties for such countries.

The talks for the pact started in Phnom Penh in November 2012. The 16 countries account for over a quarter of the world’s economy, estimated to be more than $ 75 trillion.

The 16-member bloc RCEP comprises 10 ASEAN members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam) and their six FTA partners — India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.