Business Standard

Asean FTA needs relook, says Goyal


There is a need to re-negotiate the existing trade relationsh­ip and relook at the free trade agreement with 10member ASEAN bloc with an aim to eliminate barriers and misuse of the FTA, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday.

The two-way trade between India and ASEAN (Associatio­n of Southeast Asian Nations) is about USD 80 billion and removal of non-trade barriers and other impediment­s would help take this figure to USD 200 billion in the coming years, he said.

“It is unfortunat­e that in the recent past, we had to deal with several restrictiv­e barriers on our exports in the ASEAN region particular­ly in the agri and the auto sector. I think these only result in reciprocal action from other countries including from India and will hurt the long-term desire of our leaders to expand trade between the countries.

“Therefore, I think there is a need for renegotiat­ing the existing trade relationsh­ip, trade barriers, relooking at our FTA with ASEAN and focusing on new rules to eliminate the misuse of the FTA, eliminatin­g nontariff barriers, and that can ultimately lead to building confidence on both the sides to reduce tariffs for inter-asean and India trade,” Goyal said.

He was speaking at CII'S INDOASEAN Business Summit.

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