India pushes for services and investment agreement with ASEAN

August 13th, 2011 - 6:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Manado (Indonesia), Aug 13 (IANS) After having ‘trade in goods agreement’, India has stepped up efforts for a comprehensive deal with the 10-nation Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) that would cover services and investment.

Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma Saturday reviewed the progress on the proposed India-ASEAN Services and Investment Agreement negotiations during a meeting with his counterparts from ASEAN countries here.

The ministers tasked the negotiators to step up their efforts and exhibit greater flexibility for completion of these negotiations with substance, according to an official statement released after the meeting.

Sharma said the services and investment agreement would complement the Trade in Goods Agreement and would further enhance the economic integration India with ASEAN countries.

India and ASEAN had signed Trade in Goods Agreement in August 2009, after six years of negotiations. All the ASEAN countries have implemented the agreement.

The agreement has significantly reduced trade barriers and boosted two-way trade.

India’s trade with ASEAN countries increased 24 percent to $51.3 billion in 2010. India’s exports surged 33 percent to $23.1 billion, while imports from ASEAN countries increased 18 percent to $28.2 billion.

Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) inflows to India from ASEAN reached $14.25 billion in May 2011 and accounted for 10.36 percent of India’s total FDI.

The two sides are hopeful that a comprehensive agreement in services and investment would help boost the flow of capital and goods.

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