India & Asean usher in trade pact in services, investments
The two sides also adopted the ‘Asean-India Vision Statement 2020’, which will also commit both sides to great security cooperation besides asking for greater private sector opportunities to enhance trade.
Experts say the free trade pact is expected to facilitate temporary movement of business people, including contractual service suppliers and independent professionals in accounting, architecture, engineering services, medical and dental, nursing and pharmacy, computer services and management consulting.
“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
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