India’s Service Pact with ASEAN to be Finalized by 2010

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Nov. 16 – The deadline for India and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) services trade liberalization agreement has been set for August 2010 to further expand its Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the group.

India’s FTA with the 10 member nations of the ASEAN will be implemented on January 1, 2010 and would result in decreased trade tariffs for bilateral. “We are interested in most of the services in ASEAN including banking and insurance,” a India Commerce Ministry official told The Economic Times.

If the services pact pushes through, Indian professionals will have easier access to the Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia banking and financial markets. In addition, they will also be able to tap into the information technology, English teaching, medical and architecture market. Even though the FTAs do not provide immigration, they make it easier for the services professionals to acquire business contracts.

The Asean countries are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.