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11/09/2019 03:45pm

India and ASEAN Ministers welcome suggestions to promote potential of bilateral trade in MSME sector, start-ups among others

image India and ASEAN Ministers welcome suggestions to promote potential of bilateral trade in MSME sector, start-ups among others

New Delhi, Sept 11 (KNN) India and ASEAN Ministers, who met during the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM)-India Consultations held in Singapore this week, welcomes the recommendations of the ASEAN-India Business Council to promote potential of bilateral trade and cooperation in sectors including start-ups and MSME development.

AEM-India Consultations was held in Bangkok this week in which Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal represented India.

India and the 10-member ASEAN countries have decided to hold a review of the bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) in goods to facilitate trade.

The review will help make trade between the partner countries “more user-friendly, simple and trade facilitative”.

“The Ministers tasked officials to work on the details of the review and submit an update at the next Asean Economic Ministers (AEM)-India Consultations,” said the joint statement issued at the end of the ongoing AEM-India Consultations in Bangkok this week.

The Ministers welcomed the recommendations of the ASEAN-India Business Council to further promote the potential of bilateral trade through the utilization of the ASEAN-India FTA as well as cooperation in some areas of mutual interest, such as financial technology, connectivity, start-ups and innovation, empowerment of youth, and women and MSME development.

A study conducted by NITI Aayog had revealed that India’s trade deficit with ASEAN doubled to USD 10 billion in 2017 from USD 5 billion in 2011.

One of the reasons for the growing deficit is the low utilisation of the FTA route by Indian exporters to ASEAN countries because of difficulties faced in negotiating the rules.

A review of the India-ASEAN FTA could help improve utilisation in India by making the pact simpler and more user-friendly, as stated.

In the joint statement, the Ministers welcomed the recommendations of the ASEAN-India Business Council to further promote the potential of bilateral trade through the utilisation of the ASEAN-India FTA as well as cooperation in some areas of mutual interest, such as financial technology, connectivity, start-ups and innovation, empowerment of youth, and women and MSME development. (KNN Bureau)

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