labels: trade
Negotiations to be wrapped up on India-Asean FTAnews
09 February 2007

New Delhi: Negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) between India and the Asean will be completed soon.

According 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.

Mukherjee 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.

He 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.

A pan-Asian FTA could be the starting point for an economic community the defence minister stated.

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Negotiations to be wrapped up on India-Asean FTA