India awaits Aseans reaction on FTA offer

Mumbai, Nov 29 | Updated: Nov 30 2006, 07:17am hrs
Although India has deferred signing a free trade agreement (FTA) with China, it has made a good offer for the proposed FTA with Association of South East Asian Nation (Asean).

The Centre awaits Aseans reactions to it. We have made an offer and we are waiting for Asean to react, commerce secretary Gopal K Pillai said on Wednesday on the sidelines of the US-India business summit organised by the Centre, the US department of commerce, FICCI and CII.

Pillai hoped that an Asean FTA is likely to happen next month during a summit meeting in the Philippines on December 6-8 when the countries gather to finalise the list of items to be included in the FTA.

We require more reciprocity. When we become flexible by pruning our negative list they become more sensitve, he said, while referring to the negative list of the Asean nations which have expressed concerns on farm goods and textiles.

To a question on the concerns of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on lending to the Special Economic Zones, Pillai said that the commerce ministry has clarified to the apex bank that there was no real estate play in any SEZ.