New Delhi: The India-Asean Free Trade Agreement is likely to be signed at the Asean Summit in November this year, Commerce Secretary G K Pillai said on 28 August.
Efforts are on to ‘tie up’ all modalities on FTA by 30 September, he said on the sidelines of a CII seminar here.
“An announcement on the India-Asean FTA is expected to be made by the Prime Ministers at the Asean Summit to be held in Singapore in November,” Pillai added.
The Commerce Secretary, who was in Manila last week to discuss details on India-Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) FTA with the 10-nation bloc, said, “we had a good meeting with members of the Asean and there was positive movement from both sides.”
It is estimated that if the agreement is signed within the stipulated time frame India’s export to Asean could reach $22 billion by 2012.
In 2005, two-way trade between India and Asean was at $23 billion, with India’s export share at $8 billion.
Asean’s share in India’s foreign trade grew marginally to 9% in 2002 from around 6% in 1991, but India’s share in Asean’s trade was a mere 1%.
Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam make up the 10-nation Asean.