IPR, people movement roadblocks in Asean FTA
Prime minister Manmohan Singh said at the recent ASEAN-India Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, that he hoped to conclude the services and investment components of the FTA before December when the ASEAN commomerative summit will be held in New Delhi.
While New Delhi has been insisting that the ASEAN offer is mbelow expectations due to limited commitments offered by the association regarding movement of natural persons, ASEAN is insistent on removal of the category of intellectual property (IP) from the definition of categories of natural persons. Besides, there are other outstanding issues like definition of investment, exclusion of IPR, portfolio investments, claims to money, permanent resident and indirect expropriation.
India and ASEAN already have a trade in goods agreement in place since 2009, which focuses on tariff liberalisation on mutually agreed tariff lines from both the sides and is targeted to eliminate tariffs on 80% of the tariff lines accounting for 75% of the trade gradually. Moreover, India had entered into a liberal goods agreement with the implicit understanding that the balance will be achieved in the services negotiations with the 10-country trading bloc.
However, there are differences in modalities as far as the services and investment are concerned.
India has been asking for opening up of the Mode 4 category, which
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