New Delhi: Negotiations on a bilateral free trade
agreement (FTA) between India and the Asean will be
to external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee, "Following
the agreement reached at the Cebu Summit, we hope to
soon conclude negotiations on a bilateral FTA with Asean."
He was speaking at an Asian security organised by the
Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, in New Delhi.
said that India wanted an Asian economic community,
which would be the driver of growth and economic integration
in the entire region to function as the "third
pole" of the world economy after along side the
EU and the North American Free Trade Area.
said the long-term goal of a pan Asian economic grouping
should be the creation of a harmonious and prosperous
community of nations, which would pool its resources
to tackle common challenges. This grouping, he noted,
was emerging through the various
FTAs being signed among the countries of the region.
pan-Asian FTA could be the starting point for an economic
community the defence minister stated.