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India with ASEAN

For more information Click here to view : Memorandum of Understanding between The Government of Republic of India and Republic of Governments of Member States of Association of Southeast Asian Nations on Strengthning Tourism Coorporation

India-ASEAN relations, as they exist today, are in some ways, a reconfiguration of age old ties which is 2,000 years old. Only the modes of trade have changed. Now, countries are using tech-oriented routes instead of the silk route which are used in older days.

ASEAN, the latest version of what was the Asian trade network ages ago, is an effort to establish cooperation in the economic, social, cultural, technical, educational and other fields among its member countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.

India has shared a close relationship with ASEAN countries since the time of its independence. Mutual interest led ASEAN to invite India to become its full dialogue partner during the fifth ASEAN summit in Bangkok in 1995. India also became a member of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in 1996. The relationship was further elevated with the convening of the ASEAN-India Summit in 2002 in Phnom Penh. All these took place in a decade, which clearly signifies the importance of the dialogue partnership to ASEAN and India and the progress made in the cooperation.

India signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the ASEAN members in October 2009 in Thailand. Under the ASEAN-India FTA, the ASEAN member countries and India will lift import tariffs on more than 80 per cent of traded products between 2013 and 2016. Furthermore, tariffs on sensitive goods will be reduced to 5 per cent in 2016, while tariffs will be maintained on up to 489 items of very sensitive products.

India and ASEAN are currently negotiating Agreements on Trade in Services and Investment. The services negotiations are taking place on a request-offer basis, wherein both sides make requests for the openings they hunt for  and offers are made by the receiving country based on the requests. There are four meetings scheduled between January and July and the deal is expected to be finalized by August 2010.

India has made requests in a number of areas including teaching, nursing, architecture, chartered accountancy and medicine. India is also fanatical on expanding its telecom, IT, tourism and banking network in the ASEAN countries.