Updated: August 31, 2012 19:44 IST

India presses for conclusion of services and investments pact at ASEAN summit

Sujay Mehdudia
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A file picture of Union Minister Commerce and Industries. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt.
The Hindu A file picture of Union Minister Commerce and Industries. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, on Friday, pressed for conclusion of the services and investments agreements within the next two months, to give a new direction to the economic partnership in the region.

Taking part in the 10 ASEAN-India Economic Ministers Consultations in Siem Reap, Cambodia, Mr. Sharma pressed for the successful 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 per cent of the world’s population and 30 per cent of the world’s GDP

Mr. Sharma said ASEAN plus six which includes countries such as Japan, China and South Korea, should come together to form a new economic community.

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 per cent to reach $79.8 billion making India the sixth largest trading partner of ASEAN. It was decided 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.  

Mr. Sharma held bilateral meeting with his counterpart from Myanmar and discussed various means and ways to boost bilateral trade and economic cooperation. He also met Japanese Minister of Economy, trade and Industry on the sidelines of the meeting.

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