Trade between India, the world’s second-most populous country, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations is targeted to double by 2022 from an estimate of US$100 billion [K100,000 billion] this year, as an economic partnership pact is expected to be signed later this year, reports the Jakarta Globe on March 12.
Mr Anil Wadhwa, the secretary for the East at India’s External Affairs Ministry, said the implementation of the ASEAN-India free trade agreement in goods that was signed in 2009, has already resulted in a significant increase in trade between the two economies: to over $74 billion in 2013-14 from $44 billion in 2009-10.
This year, the figure is expected to rise to $100 billion.
ASEAN — Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, Laos, Cambodia — was India’s fourth-largest trade partner last year.
“The trade level is well below our true potential and we hope that the FTA in goods, when reviewed, will lead to better efficacy and results,” Mr Wadhwa said at the start of the business session of the Delhi Dialogue VII, an annual gathering of government officials, company executives and academics from India and ASEAN nations.
The conference discusses ways to boost economic ties and strengthen political connections and civil society interaction between those involved.