New Delhi: Free-trade agreement between
India and 10-nation bloc ASEAN is expected to push the two-way
trade to USD 100 billion (around Rs 4.50 lakh crore) in the
next five years, a study by industry body FICCI has said.
The trade pact, signed in August last year, has come in
force with three countries (Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand)
from January 1, while it is expected to become operationalised
with the remaining seven countries in the coming months.
Under the pact, duties are to be eliminated or reduced on
about 4,000 items by 2016, covering 80 per cent of India`s
imports from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
The study sees a "huge enlargement of market access for
Indian business that could well double the bilateral trade
from the targeted level of USD 50 billion in 2010 to USD 100
billion in the next five years".
Negotiations to expand the treaty to cover services and
investments have also started. The pact on services would help
Indian professionals and service providers to get greater
market access in the region, FICCI said.
ASEAN region is a net importer of services and had
imported nearly USD 180 billion worth of services in 2007.
"In view of this and India?s competitive advantages in
terms of cost and expertise in a range of areas, puts India in
a position where it would gain from the FTA," it added.