India engaging with ASEAN to review free trade agreement: Piyush Goyal

NEW DELHI:India is engaging with the 10-member ASEAN to review the free trade agreement, Parliament was informed on Friday. In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said in the India-ASEAN Economic Ministers Consultations held on August 29, both sides instructed the senior officials to engage to determine the scope of the review.

Free trade agreements (FTAs) essentially involve mutual concessions between the parties.

“Provisions are envisaged to periodically address any gaps, shortcomings and imbalance. India proposes to suitably use these provisions,” he said.

In a free trade agreement, two trading partners either significantly reduce or eliminate customs duties on maximum number of goods traded between them.

“Government of India is engaging with ASEAN to review the FTA in accordance with related provisions of the agreement,” he said.

The ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement was signed on August 13, 2009. It came into force on January 1, 2010.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members are — Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Brunei and Laos.