“The impact will be seen after knowing what all has been liberalised in the services sector. After the trade in goods, one can say that almost all areas have been covered for liberalisation. The investment part will look at industrial rights while the services portion would look at the range of complimentary inputs necessary for the production process and better integration of production networks,” noted Biswajit Dhar, director general, Research and Information System for Developing Countries.
While New Delhi had been insisting that the Asean offer was below expectations due to limited commitments offered on movement of natural persons, Asean was insistent on removal of the category of intellectual property (IP) from the definition of categories of natural persons. Besides, there were other outstanding issues like definition of investment, exclusion of IPR, portfolio investments, claims to money, permanent resident and indirect expropriation. India had also asked for opening up of the Mode 4 category or movement of natural persons- which has been opposed by Indonesia and Philippines because of unemployment issues in these countries.
Besides, India had also insisted on having at least a ‘limited’ Annex with common definitions for the various categories of natural persons on which future commitments can be made.
“Two-way flows in investments have also grown rapidly to reach $ 43 billion over the past decade. India-Asean trade has grown over 10 times in the 10 years since we launched the annual summits. Following the implementation of our FTA in goods, trade grew by 41% in Indian fiscal year of 2011-12,” Singh added.
The Prime Minister added that from energy resources to farm products, from materials to machinery, and from electronics to information technology, Indian and Asean companies are forging new partnerships of trade and investment.
Besides FTA with Asean, India is also negotiating similar market opening pacts with members of the grouping bilaterally.
India has already implemented FTA with Singapore and Malaysia and is negotiating with Indonesia and Thailand in this regard.