1. The ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) and the Minister of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of India met at the Eighth AEM-India Consultations in Da Nang, Viet Nam on 27 August 2010. The Consultations was co-chaired by H.E. Vu Huy Hoang, Minister of Industry and Trade of Viet Nam and H.E. Anand Sharma, Minister of Commerce and Industry of India.
2. The Ministers exchanged views on the global economic environment, noting with satisfaction that emerging economies in Asia were leading the recovery in the global economy. India’s economy is poised to expand by 9.4% in 2010, while ASEAN’s real GDP is expected to be over 5%, much higher than the 1.5% recorded in 2009. In 2009, ASEAN’s trade with India remained high and India remains ASEAN’s seventh largest trading partner. Over the same period, ASEAN also witnessed an increase of 40.8% in India’s foreign direct investment to ASEAN. This placed India as the sixth largest investor in ASEAN. The Ministers 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 the full benefits offered by the Agreement.
3. The Ministers noted the progress in the negotiations on product specific rules of origin under the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement. The Ministers reiterated that PSRs should be liberal and trade facilitative. In this view, the Ministers encouraged officials to finalise an initial package of PSRs for possible endorsement in October 2010.
4. The Ministers noted the progress that has been made in the negotiations on services and investment. They urged both Parties to finalise the services text and concurrently complete negotiations on the schedules of commitments, noting the mandate of the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation between ASEAN and India for substantial sectoral coverage and GATS-plus commitment, as well as the need for ambitious and commercially meaningful offers. The Ministers also called for intensification of negotiation on core issues in investment.
5. In this respect, Ministers tasked the negotiators to step up their engagement for completion of these negotiations. The Ministers 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.
6. 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. The Ministers also took the opportunity to review the progress of the WTO Doha negotiations, remaining convinced that a strong multilateral system based on mutually beneficial and balanced outcomes in agriculture, NAMA and services are key to a stable and progressive global trading system. The Ministers assured Lao PDR of their continued support in her accession to the WTO.
LIST OF MINISTERS
- Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Brunei Darussalam
- H.E. Cham Prasidh, Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce, Cambodia
- H.E. Anand Sharma, Minister of Commerce and Industry, India
- H.E. Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister of Trade, Indonesia
- H.E. Nam Viyaketh, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Lao PDR
- Datuk Rebecca Fatima Sta. Maria, Deputy Secretary-General, Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia (representing H.E. Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia)
- H.E. U Soe Tha, Minister for National Planning and Economic Development, Myanmar
- H.E. Gregory L. Domingo, Secretary of Trade and Industry, the Philippines
- H.E. Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore
- H.E. Porntiva Nakasai, Minister of Commerce, Thailand
- H.E. Vu Huy Hoang, Minister of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam
- H.E. Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN