India, ASEAN to begin Free Trade Agreement review in November

India and the ASEAN bloc are expected to start the review of the free trade agreement in November 2023, media reports said.

PM Narendra Modi in a family photograph during the 20th ASEAN-India Summit at Jakarta, in Indonesia on September 7, 2023. Photo Courtesy: PIB

In 2022-23, India’s exports to the 10-nation bloc- comprising Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam- increased to USD 44 billion from USD 42.32 billion in 2021-22.

However, imports soared to USD 87.57 billion in 2022-23 from USD 68 billion in 2021-22

India and the ASEAN countries agreed to start the negotiations for the review of the existing FTA and conclude it by 2025, according to a joint statement issued at AEM (Asean Economic Ministers)-India Consultation meeting held at Semarang, Indonesia, in August.

The FTA was signed in 2009 and implemented in January 2010.

Citing an official, a report in the media said that India would start consultations with stakeholders before launching the review.

Participating in the 20th ASEAN-India Summit in Jakarta, Prime Minister Narendra Modi underscored the significance of completing the review of the ASEAN-India FTA (AITIGA) within a stipulated time frame.

Indian industry has been pressing for the review of the AITIGA for a long time.

The review would help in making the FTA trade facilitative and mutually beneficial, the commerce ministry has said.