Free trade partners of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), including India are meeting in Siem Reap, Combodia for the first ASEAN-FTA partners meet to discuss regional comprehensive economic partnership.
Union minister of commerce, industry and textiles Anand Sharma today left for a four-day visit to Cambodia. Sharma will attend the first consultative meeting of economic ministers of ASEAN and ASEAN's FTA partners, including India, Australia, China, Japan, Republic of Korea and New Zealand.
The consultations will form a key step towards launching the regional comprehensive economic partnership (RCEP), which could potentially lead to the establishment of a free trade area comprising about 3.33 billion people.
Addressing the press after India-China JEG on Monday Sharma said: ''Both minister Chen Deming and me will be proceeding to Cambodia to participate in the ASEAN and dialogue partners meeting, ministerial meeting. And, in the first meeting of its kind, ASEAN and its FTA partners would be discussing the regional comprehensive economic partnership (RCEB).''
Besides, he said, there would be a ministerial meeting of the East Asia Summit minister. ''We will be continuing our discussions on the regional economic discourse or the architecture in Siam Reap in Cambodia,'' he said.
Sharma will also attend East Asia Summit (EAS) economic ministers meeting, another first meeting of its kind. The East Asia Summit (EAS) is a forum for dialogue on broad strategic, political and economic issues of common interest and concern with the aim of promoting peace, stability and economic prosperity in East Asia. This forum includes the ten ASEAN members along with India, Australia, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America.
Sharma will also meet the ASEAN economic ministers (AEM) at the 10th AEM-India consultations on 31 August 2012 in Siem Reap.
The visit will also likely feature the commerce minister's bilateral meetings with Japanese minister of economy, trade and industry Yukio Edano, South Korean minister for trade Bark Tae Ho, Combodia's deputy prime minister-cum-minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation Hor Namhong and Myanmar's minister of national planning and economic development U Tin Naing Thein.