Need to conclude India-Asean FTA fast: CII
New Delhi: Coinciding with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Cambodia for the 10th India-Asean Summit, CII has asked India and 10-nation block to speedily conclude the free trade agreement (FTA) in services and investment.
Meanwhile, addressing the India-Asean Summit, the Prime Minister today said India is prepared to conclude the Free Trade Agreement in services and investment with Asean by the next month, which will send a strong signal of deepening economic engagement.
CII said India and Asean member-countries are amongst the biggest beneficiaries of the shift in global economic equations and can jointly leverage their large markets and development endeavours.
"We would like to urge leaders of both regions to provide much-needed political direction for expediting the conclusion of this agreement being negotiated under the Indo-Asean FTA," CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said.
India and Asean have already signed an FTA in goods in 2009, but services and investment part is taking longer because of strong differences between the two sides.
The FTA in goods has opened up new areas of cooperation like trade and investment, agriculture, renewable energy science and technology, education, tourism and climate change.
At present, India-Asean trade is over USD 75 billion.
Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam are the 10 ASEAN member states.
Further, CII said, it is also organising the adventurous India-Asean Car Rally that will take 31 participating SUVs through eight of the 10 Asean nations, covering 8,000 kms.
To be flagged off in Yogjakarta (Indonesia) on 26 November, the rally will culminate in Delhi after 22 days. This will further spur infrastructure creation and connectivity between the two vibrant regions of Asia.
The summit and the car rally are being held as part of the commemoration of the 20th Year of Dialogue Partnership between India and Asean, the chamber said.