ASEAN-India Free Trade Area Part I: Introduction

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By Alex Tangkilisan

Feb. 7 – The ASEAN–India Free Trade Area (AIFTA) is a free trade area consisting of the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India. The initial framework agreement was signed in Bali, Indonesia, on October 8, 2003, and the final agreement was signed on August 13, 2009. The free trade area came into effect on January 1, 2010.

In the aftermath of the recent ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi on December 20-21, 2012, and the subsequent passing of the free trade agreement (FTA) on services and investments, economic ties and prosperity are set to blossom between the two regions.

FTAs between the two regions appear to be operating effectively and efficiently, and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has confirmed that the FTA in goods, which was concluded in 2010, has helped trade to grow by 41 percent in 2011-12. Singh also stated that the implementation of the 2012 FTA on services and investments has set annual India-ASEAN trade to grow to US$100 billion by 2015. Trade between India and ASEAN presently stands at roughly US$80 billion.

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