India ASEAN Ties Flourish In 2012

Friday, 28 December 2012, 11:46 Hrs
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Bangkok: India was the flavour of the year across South East Asia, as governments and businesses in the region realised enormous potential for trade and cooperation between the 10-member ASEAN grouping and the booming Asian giant. 

Hectic parleys through out the year led to finalisation of the long-awaited India-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement on services and investment during the 20th India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit held in New Delhi at the end of the year.

This move is likely to boost trade to $100 billion by 2015 and would give Indian professionals like accountants, engineers and doctors access to the $800 million Southeast Asian market.

India too on its part has continued to work seriously on its 'Look East' policy realising the potential of doing business with the ASEAN.

In November, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh attended the 10th ASEAN-India summit in Phnom Penh aimed at strengthening India's relations with countries in the South East Asia.

India's Dialogue Partnership with the ASEAN countries is one of the cornerstones of its 'Look East' policy.

After his meeting with ASEAN leaders, Singh also held bilateral talks with his Thai counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra.

Besides FTA with ASEAN, India is negotiating similar market opening pacts with members of the grouping. India has already implemented FTA with Singapore and Malaysia and is negotiating with Indonesia and Thailand in this regard.

The FTA would also pave the way for discussions on a regional comprehensive economic partnership (RCEP) that ASEAN plans to seal with its six key trade partners, which include India.

Source: PTI
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