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Indonesia firm on FTA with India despite opposition news
24 May 2010

Indonesia will go ahead with the implementation of another free trade agreement with India despite strong opposition from local industries about a similar trade deal with China early this year, trade minister Mari Elka Pangestu said in Jakarta last week.

She said that together with other ASEAN countries, Indonesia would implement the free trade agreement with India to take advantage of India's massive local market.

Mari said that Indonesia would fully implement the ASEAN-India FTA (AIFTA) on 1 June and was also scheduled to implement similar trade deals with South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

Her comments come as officials from India and the 10 South East Asian nations prepare to meet in New Delhi next month to speed up the ongoing talks for opening trade in services, an area of immense interest for Indian professionals.

The two sides aim at entering the market opening pact in the services sector by August, a commerce ministry official said on Saturday.

India and the ASEAN signed a free trade agreement (FTA) in goods in August last year and are engaged in intense negotiations to expand this pact to include services and investments.

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Indonesia firm on FTA with India despite opposition