India today called for early conclusion of a ''commercially meaningful agreement'' on services trade and investment in order to create a positive atmosphere for the implementation of the India-ASEAN Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement.
Speaking at the 9th ASEAN-India Summit in Bali, Indonesia, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sought endorsement of all ASEAN member countries of the decision taken at the last round of negotiations in October 2011, in order to conclude the agreement by March 2012.
He said the Framework Agreement of 2003 envisaged India's full dialogue partnership with ASEAN and has put in place a rich agenda of cooperation. ''This has benefited both of us and is contributing to the processes of integration and transformation of the Asia-Pacific region,'' he said.
Since the last summit in Hanoi, the two sides have made concrete progress, Manmohan said.
ASEAN and India held the first meetings on agriculture and the India-ASEAN Green Fund in October 2011. The two sides had also called for developing a long-term vision for the strategic partnership between ASEAN and India. Towards this an ASEAN-India Eminent Persons Group was constituted. The group has been tasked with drafting an ASEAN-India Vision 2020 document and has already held two meetings in August 2011 and October 2011, he noted.
The two sides have successfully implemented the plan of action for 2004-2010, which included specific items of cooperation. The Hanoi summit adopted an ambitious 82-point plan of action for the period 2010-2015.