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India, ASEAN agree to review FTA by 2025

In a significant move, India and the ASEAN countries have come to an agreement to reevaluate their existing free trade pact for goods. The aim of this review is to address the existing trade imbalances and disparities between the two parties. The announcement was made by the Commerce Ministry, indicating the commitment to enhance bilateral trade relations.

Deliberations on AITIGA Review at Joint Committee Meeting

The Joint Committee of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA), which was originally signed in 2009, convened to discuss the roadmap for revisiting the pact. The committee successfully finalized the terms of reference for commencing fresh negotiations, setting the stage for a comprehensive review of the trade agreement.

Milestone 2025 Target for Review Conclusion

During a pivotal ASEAN-India Economic Ministers’ meeting held in Indonesia, the ministers collectively agreed to a strategic approach for the review process. They decided to adhere to a quarterly negotiation schedule and set a definitive goal: concluding the review by the year 2025. This forward-looking target underlines the commitment to foster trade that is mutually beneficial and conducive to both parties’ growth.

A Long-Awaited Demand Addressed

The demand for a thorough review of the AITIGA had been a persistent request from Indian businesses. The initiation of this review process is expected to streamline trade practices, making them more facilitative and advantageous for both sides. The Ministry emphasized that this step aligns with the interests of Indian businesses and sets the groundwork for a more balanced trade relationship.

Elevating Trade Through the AITIGA Review

The forthcoming review of the AITIGA signifies a substantial opportunity to boost and diversify trade engagements between India and ASEAN nations. By addressing the existing trade asymmetry, the review aims to create a more equitable platform for economic interactions. This process will not only drive economic growth but also strengthen diplomatic ties between the two regions.

Next Steps: India-ASEAN Leaders’ Summit

The reviewed AITIGA will now move forward to the India-ASEAN Leaders’ Summit, scheduled to take place in early September. At this summit, further guidance and direction will be provided, marking another crucial milestone in the journey towards a revitalized and balanced trade relationship between India and ASEAN.

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