India ready to sign FTA with Asean

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday announced that India is ready to conclude the much delayed Free Trade Agreement in services and investment with Asean by December that will provide a “springboard” for rapid expansion in ties, as he invited investments from the 10-nation grouping citing “enormous opportunities”.
Contending that enhanced cooperation between India and Asean was crucial for promotion of peace, security and stability in the region and addressing shared challenges, he said the agreement in services and investment with Asean will send a strong signal of deepening economic engagement.
He also cited the steps taken by India to improve investment environment.
Addressing the India-Asean summit here, Dr Singh said India’s relationship with the 10-nation grouping continues to grow in all dimensions, with commerce and connectivity being vital areas of this relationship in which good progress has been made.
He referred to the India-Asean Free Trade Agreement on trade in goods signed in 2009 and said it has served well, with the two-way commerce increasing to nearly $80 billion in the Indian financial year ending March 2012, exceeding the target of $70 billion.
“I would like to inform Your Excellencies that India is prepared to conclude the Agreement on Trade in services and investment promotion before the Commemorative Summit in Delhi in December. This will be a strong signal of our deepening economic engagement, and will allow for rapid expansion in trade and investment flows in both directions,” Dr Singh said.
The FTA in Services and Investment were delayed due to strong differences between the two sides.

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