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26 January 2010

India to boost ties with Asean through FTA

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Armed with a new India-Asean FTA in hand, India is confidently planning to increase its ties with the Southeast Asian bloc and host India-Asean Summit in 2012, Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna was quoted by the Jakarta Post as saying.

“The India-Asean Trade-in-Goods Agreement under a Free Trade Agreement, which came into force on Jan. 1, 2010, has opened new possibilities for the expansion of our trade with the region.

“We hope that agreements on Trade-in Services and Investment will also be concluded as soon as possible,” Krishna said while inaugurating the Delhi Dialogue II forum in New Delhi on Thursday.

The two-day forum is being organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in association with the Indian Foreign Ministry and co-partnered by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, the Jakarta-based Economic Research Institute for Asean and East Asia and Singapore-based SAEA Research Group.

The Trade-In Goods Agreement, which was signed after six years of intense negotiations in 2009, focuses on mainly trade liberalization on mutually agreed tariff lines from India and Asean The agreement is aimed at eliminating 80 percent of existing trade tariffs.

Under the agreement India has to reduce tariffs to zero on some 3,666 imported items from Indonesia and nine other Asean countries by the end of 2012. Indonesian goods such as electronics, electric fans, jewelry, rubber and plastic resins would be-nefit from the agreement.

India’s trade with Asean countries reached 45 billion in 2008 and with Indonesia also increased significantly.


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