Inaugurating the 2nd
India- ASEAN Business Fair- 2012 in New Delhi today, the Union Minister
for Commerce, Industry & Textiles Shri Anand Sharma expressed confidence
that the two-way trade between India and the ASEAN countries “will be
able to reach USD 100 billion mark by 2015”. He also added that the
early operationalisation of the Services and Investment Agreement would
provide greater impetus to the trade and investment flows.
Welcoming the Trade Minister from the ASEAN countries, Shri Sharma urged
the Trade Ministers that they should diversify the trade basket and that
the economic gains on both sides would be substantial only if we develop
supply chains with a focus on intra-industry trade. He also said that in
order to realise the true potential of the economies, we should give a
concerted push to strengthen the regional connectivity with ASEAN.
Shri Sharma said that India views its partnership with ASEAN as a
crucial block in sustaining the growth momentum. “We would like to
benefit from ASEAN experience in key sectors of economy such as
infrastructure, agro-processing, retail and value added manufacturing.
Equally, Indian companies can be invaluable partners for ASEAN economies
in augmenting their productivity,” said Shri Sharma.
Speaking on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, Shri Sharma
said that the negotiations would be a momentous step. “The fruition of
the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership which will have in its
embrace ASEAN and the six countries including India, China, Republic of
Korea, New Zealand, Japan and Australia, will truly have a defining
influence on the global economic architecture,” Shri Sharma further
Later addressing media persons, Shri Sharma said that the FTA
negotiations on Services and Investment would be concluded by tomorrow
when ASEAN Ministerial will take place after the formal negotiations.
“The senior officers have been meeting and we the Ministers have given
them a very clear message and mandate at the recent ASEAN-India summit
at Phnom Penh in Cambodia and senior officials and negotiators
thereafter met in Jakarta… So the final round of negotiations is taking
place between the senior officers of India, the Chief negotiator and his
team and the ASEAN officials, and they will be formally reporting to the
Ministerial meeting tomorrow. And the Ministers are committed. I can say
for all of us to bring this negotiations to closure and carry on with
our journey of partnership, added Shri Sharma.