India, ASEAN agree to conclude review of FTA in 2025

New Delhi, (UNI) India and ASEAN have agreed for a time-bound review of existing free trade agreement (FTA) in goods and conclude talks in 2025, Ministry of Commerce said on Monday.

“The FTA review is expected to expand and diversify India’s exports to ASEAN region and address the present tariff asymmetry,” said the Ministry in an official statement.

The 20th ASEAN-India Economic Ministers’ meeting was held today in Semarang, Indonesia.

Rajesh Agrawal, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry represented India in the key meeting and co-chaired the meeting with Dr. Zulkifli Hasan, Minister of Trade, Indonesia.

The Economic Ministers or their representatives from all the 10 ASEAN countries viz. Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam participated in the meeting. Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste also joined the Meeting as an observer.

The Commerce Ministry in its official release said that the main agenda of this year’s meeting was timely review of ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) which was signed in 2009.

“The Ministers reviewed the bilateral trade and investment relations between India and ASEAN and underscored their commitment to strengthen and enhance the economic partnership between India and ASEAN to ensure that the ASEAN-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership delivers meaningful benefits for both sides, particularly in the post-pandemic era,” Commerce Ministry said.

India and ASEAN registered a bilateral trade of US$ 131.5 billion in 2022-23. The trade with ASEAN accounted for 11.3% of India’s global trade in 2022-23.

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