ASEAN,India announce FTA to create a EU-like market

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New Delhi, Aug 28 (UNI) India and 10-nation bloc of South East Asian trading block ASEAN today announced a free trade deal in goods, ending three years of talks aimed at creating a European Union-style single market but much larger with a population of over 1.5 billion.

The announcement was made after the 6th consultations between the ASEAN Economic Ministers and India in Singapore, a member of the bloc, Commerce and Industry Ministry said in a statement here.

The consultations was co-chaired by Singapore Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang and Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath.

Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam are the members of ASEAN.

Announcing the ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement (AIFTA)for trade in goods, the Economic Ministers from the ten countries and India said the agreement on tariff reduction and/or elimination will facilitate the creation of an open market in a region comprising about 1.7 billion people and a combined gross domestic product of about 2,381 billion dollar as of 2007.

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