ASEAN and India discusses trade pact review, Covid-19 cooperation

ASEAN and India discusses trade pact review, Covid-19 cooperation
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NEW DELHI (Sept 14): A review of the free trade agreement (FTA) and cooperation on Covid-19 were among the issues discussed in a virtual meeting between India and ASEAN economic ministers on Tuesday.

India’s Junior Minister for Commerce and Industry Anupriya Pate and Brunei Minister of Finance and Economy Datuk Dr Amin Liew Abdullah co-chaired the India-ASEAN consultations while Malaysia was represented by the Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.

Mohamed Azmin said there is vast potential for both sides to explore and expand opportunities for trade and investment.

“The private sector must therefore continue to play an active role in forging ahead to intensify and develop business synergies, activities and other strategic initiatives,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, in a statement, India’s Ministry of Commerce said the Ministers took stock of the current pandemic situation and reaffirmed their commitment to take collective actions in mitigating the economic impact of the pandemic and ensuring resilient supply chains in the region.

It said the two sides have been discussing changes in trading arrangements in the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA), which was signed in August 2009 and came into force in January 2010.

The Ministry said the Ministers resolved to complete the review process “expeditiously to make the agreement trade facilitative, user-friendly with contemporary” and streamline Customs procedures.

It added that India suggested both sides should work to announce the review before the end of this year.