Asean-India free trade agreement expected for summit

January 25th, 2009 - 3:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangkok, Jan 25 (DPA) A free trade agreement between India and South-east Asia is expected to be signed at the upcoming summit of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean), state-run media reported Sunday.Director-general Apiradi Tantraporn of Thailand’s Foreign Trade Department said the pact was planned for the 14th Asean Summit scheduled Feb 27-March 1 at Hua Hin beach resort, 130 km south-west of Bangkok, the Thai News Agency reported.

The agreement would reduce Indian tariffs to zero on 3,666 imported items from South-East Asia by the end of 2012.

Asean-made goods expected to gain from zero tariff include refrigerators, fans, air-conditioner parts, jewellery and ornamental goods, rubber products and plastic resins, Apiradi told the agency.

Asean comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

A partial trade agreement that has already gone in to effect between Thailand and India covers only 82 items.

“The Asean-India FTA, if signed during the summit, will help boost investment in India and also trade among the South-east Asian bloc member countries because of using raw materials manufactured by Asean members on goods to be exported there,” Apiradi said.

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