New Delhi: Weeks after pulling out of proposed mega free trade pact RCEP, India would review lopsided trade agreements with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and secure better deals.
Making a statement in Rajya Sabha over India’s position in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said that India’s free trade agreements (FTAs) with ASEAN and other countries have not benefited to its expected potential.
He cited a growing trade deficit with ASEAN countries during 2010-11 until 2018-19 to state that the trade pacts had been asymmetrical.
“A major reason has been that India gave much larger market access to some of these countries but received less in return. For example, in the ASEAN-India FTA (AIFTA) we enabled greater market access by eliminating tariffs on 74.4 percent lines, however, some of the ASEAN countries eliminated tariffs on only 50.1 percent and 69.7 percent lines,” the Minister said.
ASEAN is an inter-governmental organization comprising Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam. It is primarily aimed at promoting economic growth and regional stability among its members. (IANS)