ASEAN, India review free trade agreement on goods

NEW DELHI,VNA - The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India have agreed to review their free trade agreement (FTA) signed in 2009 to make it more business-friendly and boost bilateral economic ties.

The two sides also decided to set up a joint committee for this purpose, according to a statement released after the meeting between economic ministers of ASEAN and Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal in Bangkok on September 10.

The ministers agreed to initiate the review of the bilateral trade pact in goods to make it more user-friendly, simple, and trade facilitative for businesses, the statement said.

The ministers tasked officials to work on the details of the review of the agreement and submit an update in the next ministerial meeting.

Both sides also received the recommendations of the ASEAN-India business council to further promote the bilateral trade potential through optimising the FTA as well as cooperation in some areas such as financial technology, connectivity, startups, and innovation.

Trade between ASEAN and India increased to 80.8 billion USD in 2018 from 73.6 billion USD in 2017. However, India was not satisfied with the rising trade deficit with ASEAN since the bilateral FTA in goods took effect in January 2010.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam.-VNA

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