India-ASEAN trade likely to touch US$ 100 billion in 2015
The Dollar Business Bureau The implementation of the ASEAN-India FTA in goods, signed in 2009, has given the much needed fillip to bilateral trade, which increased from US$ 44 billion in 2009-10 to over US$ 74 billion in 2013-14 and is likely touch US $ 100 billion in 2015,” said Anil Wadhwa, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. of India. Inaugurating the business session of the Delhi Dialogue VII, organized by the Ministry of External Affairs, ‘ASEAN India’ and FICCI, Wadhwa, today underlined the need for an approach that seeks to realize the ASEAN-India vision for partnership and prosperity in an integrated, inclusive and multimodal manner for the mutual interest and sustainability of the partnership in the long term. He said that at this level of trade, ASEAN was India’s fourth largest trade partner, yet the trade level was well below the true potential and “we hope that the FTA in goods, when reviewed will lead to better efficiency and results.” Informing the CEOs from ASEAN-member states and India that a political mandate for reform and a benign external environment have created a historic moment of opportunity to propel India into a double-digit growth trajectory, Wadhwa said, “We have embarked on the new growth trajectory with emphasis on infrastructure, manufacturing, trade, agriculture, skill development, urban renewal, affordable housing, industrial corridors and smart cities.” The Secretary emphasized that while ‘Make in India’ vision has occupied prominence, the Indian Prime Minister’s other goal of ‘Skilling India’ was as important and deserved as much attention. Skilling India and Make in India needs to be closely coordinated to enhance the employability of youth and it is the key to unlocking India’s demographic dividend. Wadhwa said that “Our growing relations with ASEAN and the larger Asia-Pacific neighbourhood had the potential of bring about a significant positive developmental impact on India’s North-Eastern region as well. “Being the land bridge to ASEAN, the North East was a natural partner in India’s ‘Act East Policy’, especially with respect to the connectivity agenda,” he said.
This article was published on March 11, 2015.