India-ASEAN services, investment pact negotiations reviewed

Da Nang (Vietnam) Aug 27 (ANI): Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma met commerce ministers from ten ASEAN Member States at Da Nang, Vietnam, today to review India-ASEAN services and investment agreement negotiations.

Sharma and ASEAN economic ministers met at the Eighth AEM-India Consultations meeting.

They reviewed the progress in the negotiations on services and investment and directed that talks need to be accelerated.

Sharma urged that both parties should finalize the services text and concurrently complete negotiations on the schedules of commitments on the basis of the mandate of the leaders given in Framework Agreement of 2003 for substantial sectoral coverage and GATS-plus agreement.

He hoped that ambitious and commercially meaningful offers be exchanged between the parties.

He also called for intensification of negotiation on core issues in investment.

They underscored the importance of trade in services and investment negotiations to complement the trade in goods agreement, in order to further enhance the economic integration of ASEAN and India.

They also exchanged views about the global economic environment, noting with satisfaction that emerging economies in Asia were leading the recovery in the global economy.

They also expressed confidence in the strengthening economic ties between the two sides, further boosted by the implementation of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement in 2010.

The ministers encouraged the full implementation of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement by all countries within 2010 so that the private sector could reap benefits offered by the Agreement.

In line with the transparency requirements of the WTO, ASEAN and India have notified the ASEAN-India FTA agreements to the WTO under the Enabling Clause on 23rd August 2010.

The ministers also took the opportunity to review progress of the Doha negotiations, remaining convinced that a strong multilateral system based on mutually beneficial outcomes in agriculture, NAMA and services are key to a stable and progressive global trading system. (ANI)

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