India, Asean Set To Sign FTAs In Services, Investments

NEW DELHI, Sept 4 (Bernama) -- India has received the free trade agreements (FTAs) on services and investments from the 10-nation Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean) and will "shortly" sign the pacts, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.

The agreements were scheduled to be signed during the India-Asean Economic Ministers' meeting in Myanmar last week. But the meeting was postponed as India's Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was not able to attend.

"Unfortunately because the minister has compelling engagements here, she could not attend the ministerial meeting last week but we now have received the agreements on services and investments and the minister would shortly sign them," the news agency reported quoting, Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher as saying.

According to the report, India has proposed circulation process for signing the pacts with Asean, under which, each member will separately sign the agreements and they will become effective only after the last member signed them.

The negotiations for the FTA in services and investments were concluded in 2012.

The agreements, if implemented, will help boost movement of Indian professionals in the Asean region. They will also facilitate more investments in the services sector.

Trade between India and Asean stood at about US$76 billion in 2012-13. Both sides aim to increase it to US$100 billion by 2015.


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