India signs FTA in services, investments with ASEAN

Press Trust of India | New Delhi | September 8, 2014

India signs FTA in services, investments with ASEAN

India has signed the free trade agreement (FTA) in services and investments with 10-member ASEAN, paving the way for freer movement of professionals and further opening opportunities for investments.

The country implemented FTA in goods with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2011.

"India has formally signed the Trade in Services and Trade in Investments Agreement with ASEAN. The services agreement will open up opportunities of movement of both manpower and investments from either side between India and ASEAN," an official said.

Nine out of 10 ASEAN countries have signed the pact, it said, adding that the Philippines is completing its domestic procedure and is expected to sign soon.

Signing of the two pacts — FTA in services and investments — were scheduled during the India-ASEAN Economic Ministers meeting in Myanmar last month.

But the meeting was postponed as Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was not able to attend the meet due to domestic compulsions.

India had proposed circulation process for signing the pact with ASEAN.

Under the circulation process, each member will separately sign the agreement and it will become effective only after the last member signs the pact.

It said the trade in services agreement contains all features of a modern and comprehensive pact and is in line with the other bilateral agreements that India has signed so far.

"Some of the important Articles contained in the agreement are ones on transparency, domestic regulations, recognition, market access, national treatment, increasing participation of developing countries, joint committee on services, review, dispute settlement and denial of benefits," the official said.

source: PTI