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31 Aug, 2012

India-Asean Pledge To Finalise Services Agreement by December


Ministry of Commerce & Industry, 31-August, 2012 – At the 10th ASEAN-India Economic Ministers Consultations in Siem Reap, Cambodia today, Union Minister for Commerce, Industry & Textiles, Mr Anand Sharma, and the ASEAN Economic Ministers reviewed the impressive growth in total trade since the signing of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement.

Since 2011, bilateral trade has increased by 43% to reach USD 79.8 billion making India the 6th largest trading partner of ASEAN. The Ministers tasked the Senior Officials to start review of the implementation of ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement including the possibility for a package of Product-Specific Rules of Origin to further facilitate trade between both the regions.

The Ministers agreed to intensify negotiations towards conclusion of the ASEAN-India Trade in Services and Investment Agreement. This would facilitate the beginning of ASEAN-India discussions on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which would bring together a market of more than 50% of the world’s population and 30% of the world’s GDP. India would be hosting a meeting of the Working Group on Services and Investment in the second half of September 2012 so as to conclude negotiation before the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in December in New Delhi.

The Ministers discussed their participation at the Second ASEAN-India Business Fair (AIBF) from December 18-20. Cambodia, as ASEAN Chair, confirmed its participation and assured that the ASEAN Member States look forward to a successful AIBF back to back with the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit.

The Ministers discussed preparations for the Commemorative Summit and related events such as the ASEAN-India Car Rally and the INS Sudarshini expedition to ASEAN countries. Mr Sharma invited his counterparts to the flag down ceremony of the Car Rally at Guwahati on December 17, 2012.

Mr Sharma also had bilateral meeting with his counterpart from Myanmar and discussed various means and ways to boost bilateral trade and economic cooperation. They also discussed expansion of items under border trades. Myanmar welcomed investments from India in the fields of agriculture, mining, oil and gas, infrastructure development, etc. The Ministers to take the discussions further during Mr Sharma’s visit to Myanmar later this year.