India's recent withdrawal from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations is a setback for economic integration in the Indo-Pacific.
Originally comprising 16 economies that account for around a third of world GDP, the RCEP would have had a systemic impact on the global economic architecture. As the first regional trade agreement to include India, it would have also been the first economic manifestation of the Indo-Pacific concept.
But what happens next for this mega-regional trade agreement? Can negotiations, as some have argued, be completed as a "RCEP-15" in 2020? Or will India's withdrawal send negotiators back to the starting line?