Targeting a two-way trade of $100 billion by 2015, India and the ASEAN group will formally give their ambitious free-trade agreement a big push on Thursday.
At present, trade between India and Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) stands at $80 billion.
After operationalising free trade agreement in goods in August last year, both sides engaged in widening the base of the pact by including services and investments. However, the talks were getting delayed due to differences over issues such as intellectual property in opening the sectors.
“The heads of the governments shall formally make the declaration on December 20,” said commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma, adding that after conclusion of the talks, it may take an year to fully implement the pact. Apart from the free trade pact with Asean, India is also negotiating a market opening pact with the members of the block.