India is ready to conclude an agreement on trade in services with the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in order to deepen its engagement with the 10-nation block, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said today.
He said India was looking at signing an agreement with the ASEAN ahead of the upcoming summit of the two sides in Delhi.
''India is prepared to conclude the agreement on trade in services and investment promotion before the commemorative summit in Delhi in December, he said. This, he said, would help further deepen the economic engagement between the two sides while allowing rapid expansion of trade and investment flows in both directions.
''India's relationship with ASEAN members and with ASEAN institutionally continues to grow in all dimensions. Commerce and connectivity are vital areas of this relationship and we have made good progress in both,'' the prime minister said while addressing the India-ASEAN summit in the Cambodian capital of Pnom Penh.
India and the ASEAN have already signed a formal agreement on merchandise trade and an agreement on services trade would fill the gap in trade agreement.
''The India-ASEAN agreement on trade in goods has served us well,'' he said, adding that India's trade with the ASEAN stood at nearly $80 billion during the financial year ended March 2012, against a target of $70 billion.