India & Asean usher in trade pact in services, investments
The agreement would be signed at an “appropriate date”.
Speaking at the plenary session, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said trade between the two would exceed $100 billion by 2015 (now $80 billion), adding, “we should aim for the milestone of $200 billion ten years from now.”
External affairs minister Salman Khurshid said: “We are satisfied and there are no rough edges in the services and investment FTA.” Commerce minister Anand Sharma said: “Its a matter of great satisfaction that negotiations on India-Asean Trade in Services and Investment were brought to a successful conclusion. Negotiators from all countries brought different perspectives to the table. However, political mandate from the highest levels ensured that all outstanding issues were resolved appropriately. This will pave way for the larger Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership taking shape in the East Asian Region.” It may be noted that the Asean side hasn’t seemed particularly keen to sign
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