New Delhi: The proposed Foreign Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and Asean seems likely to happen as the trade ministers of Asean countries have agreed to India's proposal for reducing the negative list to 490 items, with trade coverage not exceeding 5 per cent by both sides.
According to a commerce ministry statement, trade ministers of Malaysia, The Philippines, Cambodia, Brunei, Lao, Indonesia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam have approved the Indian proposal at a meeting at Cebu, The Philippines, which was attended by commerce minister Kamal Nath.
However, the FTA is unlikely to materialise before July this year. The Asean summit is scheduled to be held on January 14-15, with talks expected to focus on trade and economic cooperation.
Trade ministers at the ongoing Asean meet, which began on January 10, have agreed to continue the negotiations and address outstanding issues tentatively by July this year.
The FTA was supposed to become functional in January 2007 but has got stuck on issues like tariff reduction and elimination.