Sunday, 18 November 2012

India, ASEAN holding negotiations on Free Trade Agreement in Services

Phnom Penh:(Newsonair)-India and ASEAN are holding negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement in Services and Investment with ASEAN and are keen to conclude during the summit.
This will ultimately pave the way for comprehensive economic partnership agreement with ASEAN grouping.
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in his departure statement said that New Delhi is launching, negotiations for a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership among ASEAN and its FTA partners, including India this year.
This, he said is a giant step towards creation of an economic community in the region. Talking to reporters on the Prime Minister’s special air craft to Phnom Penh Sunday afternoon the Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said that this agreement will give further impetus to business relations with the grouping.
The trade volume with ASEAN has crossed 94 billion dollars.
Mr. Sharma said that India will focus on greater connectivity and special car rallay beginning from Gauwhati, Assam from 19th December is a part of the same process.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in Phnom Penh to attend the ASEAN and East Asia Summits .
This will provide an opportunity for India to enhance its economic cooperation with the region amid lingering financial crisis in the western world.
The PM's tour is for three days during which Dr Singh will have a meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and some other world leaders on the sidelines of the ASEAN and EAS Summits.
Before his arrival , Prime Minister said in a statement that India's partnership with 10-nation ASEAN is an important component of the 'Look East Policy'. 
Noting that India's engagement with ASEAN has become strong, comprehensive and multi-faceted over the last decade, Singh said, "The Summit in Phnom Penh will give us an opportunity to preview and prepare an ambitious agenda for the Summit next month to take the India-ASEAN relationship to a new level. Referring to the 20th anniversary of India’s dialogue partnership and 10th anniversary of Summit-level engagement with ASEAN," he , added that India is celebrating this milestone by hosting a special commemorative summit in New Delhi next month.
He described East Asia Summit , as the "foremost forum for promoting peace, stability and prosperity" in the Asia-Pacific region. 
AIR Correspondent covering the Prime Ministers visit reports from Phnom Penh that Southeast Asian leaders have begun discussions with a focus on territorial issues, human rights, economic cooperation and ethnic unrest in Myanmar.
The summit opened on Sunday in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. Leaders of the 10-nation ASEAN bloc are expected to adopt a declaration guaranting human rights protection for the population of the region.
U.S. President Barack Obama will meet with ASEAN leaders tomorrow and the day after. He is expected to raise concerns about long-standing human-rights problems.

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