ASEAN-In­dia Busi­ness Coun­cil Meet­ing in Malaysia

ASEAN-In­dia Busi­ness Coun­cil Meet­ing in Malaysia

FICCI Business Digest - - In Focus -

The ASEAN-In­dia Busi­ness Coun­cil (AIBC) was set up in March 2003 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at the Sec­ond Se­nior Eco­nomic Of­fi­cial Meet­ing. The first meet­ing was held in Malaysia in 2005 and was at­tended by In­dia and five ASEAN coun­tries. The sec­ond and third meet­ings of the AIBC were held in March 2011 and De­cem­ber 2012, re­spec­tively. The fourth meet­ing of the AIBC took place on Au­gust 22-23, 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The ob­jec­tives of the AIBC are to pro­vide feed­back to the pri­vate sec­tor on broad­en­ing of eco­nomic link­ages be­tween ASEAN and In­dia and to iden­tify pri­or­ity ar­eas for en­hanc­ing ASEAN-In­dia eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion. The fourth AIBC meet­ing was at­tended by lead­ing CEOs from In­dia and coun­tries of the ASEAN re­gion and rep­re­sen­ta­tion from FICCI and CII.

The ASEAN side was led by Dato Ramesh Ko­dammal, CoChair­man, AIBC and the In­dia rep­re­sen­ta­tion was led by O.P. Lo­hia, CMD, Indo Rama Syn­thet­ics and Se­nior Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee mem­ber, FICCI and Dr. A Di­dar Singh, Sec­re­tary Gen­eral FICCI.

A Joint Ac­tion Plan, based on FICCI re­search as well as sug­ges­tions from ear­lier AIBC meet­ings that fo­cused on spe­cific sec­tors, were pro­posed and adopted. This for­mat and plan pro­vided the bases for con­sul­ta­tion and dis­cus­sions.

How­ever, as we move ahead in the AIBC and the In­dian con­nect with ASEAN as a whole, it is im­por­tant that the fol­low­ing is­sues are also ad­dressed: En­sure that top level busi­ness lead­ers and Pres­i­dents of top Cham­bers on ASEAN and In­dian side are rep­re­sented in the Coun­cil meet­ings Gar­ner more in­clu­sive par­tic­i­pa­tion of the mem­ber coun­tries To en­sure that AIBC operates as a vi­brant fo­rum, the fol­low­ing rec­om­men­da­tions were tabled: I) Gov­ern­ments from ASEAN mem­ber coun­tries and Gov­ern­ment of In­dia should ac­tively sup­port this ini­tia­tive; and, se­condly, ii) ASEAN Sec­re­tar­iat and mem­ber coun­ties should sup­port ac­tiv­i­ties of the AIBC FICCI is cur­rently work­ing on an im­ple­men­ta­tion strat­egy and plan for rolling out the Joint Ac­tion Agenda.

Our trade with ASEAN coun­tries stood at over US$ 76.58 bil­lion in 2014-15, and holds great po­ten­tial for ex­pan­sion. In ad­di­tion to the Free Trade Agree­ment in Goods signed in 2009, the ASEAN-In­dia Agree­ments on Trade in Ser­vices and In­vest­ment were signed in Novem­ber 2014 com­plet­ing our Free Trade Area with ASEAN. In­dia's ex­ports to ASEAN grew from $18.11 bil­lion in 2009 to $32.01 bil­lion in 2014. There was a growth in ASEAN im­ports into In­dia from $25.7 bil­lion to $44.7 bil­lion in the same pe­riod. The tar­get has been set at $100 bil­lion by 2015 for ASEAN-In­dia trade

In­dia and ASEAN are also in the process of ne­go­ti­at­ing a Re­gional Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship with ASEAN and its six FTA part­ners (which in­clude China, Ja­pan, South Korea, Aus­tralia, New Zealand and In­dia).

Ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion by all the stake­hold­ers will fa­cil­i­tate the early real­iza­tion of the true po­ten­tial of our eco­nomic part­ner­ship. De­vel­op­ment and eco­nomic pros­per­ity are at the core of the ASEAN-In­dia Strate­gic Part­ner­ship. As Sec­re­tary East re­cently opined “Our civ­i­liza­tional her­itage, col­lec­tive hu­man re­source po­ten­tial and the di­ver­sity of our nat­u­ral resources work to­gether to strengthen the di­men­sions of In­dia-ASEAN Strate­gic Part­ner­ship.”

Par­tic­i­pants of ASEAN-In­dia Busi­ness Coun­cil (AIBC) in Malaysia.

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