|PREAMBLEWE, the Heads of State/Government of Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia (Cambodia), the Republic of Indonesia (Indonesia), the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Malaysia, the Union of Myanmar (Myanmar), the Republic of the Philippines (the Philippines), the Republic of Singapore (Singapore), the Kingdom of Thailand (Thailand) and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam (Viet Nam), Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (collectively, “ASEAN” or “ASEAN Member States”, or individually, “ASEAN Member State”), and the Republic of India (India);
RECALLING that in 2002, we had agreed on the importance of enhancing our close economic cooperation and to work towards an ASEAN-India Regional Trade and Investment Area (RTIA) as a long-term objective;
DESIRING to adopt a Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation (this Agreement) between ASEAN and India (collectively, “the Parties”, or individually referring to an ASEAN Member State or to India as a “Party”) that is forward-looking in order to forge a closer economic partnership in the 21st century;
DESIRING to minimise barriers and deepen economic linkages between the Parties; lower costs; increase intra-regional trade and investment; increase economic efficiency; create a larger market with greater opportunities and larger economies of scale for the businesses of the Parties; and enhance the attractiveness of the Parties to capital and talent;
RECOGNISING the important role and contribution of the business sector in enhancing trade and investment between the Parties and the need to further promote and facilitate their cooperation and utilisation of greater business opportunities provided by the ASEAN-India RTIA;
RECOGNISING the different stages of economic development among ASEAN Member States and the need for flexibility, including the need to facilitate the increasing participation of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam (the New ASEAN Member States) in the ASEAN-India economic co-operation and the expansion of their exports, inter alia, through the strengthening of their domestic capacity, efficiency and competitiveness;
REAFFIRMING the rights, obligations and undertakings of the respective parties under the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and other multilateral, regional and bilateral agreements and arrangements; and
RECOGNISING that regional trade arrangements can contribute towards accelerating regional and global liberalisation and as building blocks in the framework of the multilateral trading system,
HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:
The objectives of this Agreement are to:
Strengthen and enhance economic, trade and investment co-operation between the Parties;
The Parties agree to enter into negotiations in order to establish an ASEAN-India Regional Trade and Investment Area (RTIA), which includes a Free Trade Area (FTA) in goods, services and investment, and to strengthen and enhance economic cooperation through the following:
Progressive elimination of tariffs and non-tariff barriers in substantially all trade in goods;
With a view to expediting the expansion of trade in goods, the Parties agree to enter into negotiations in which duties and other restrictive regulations of commerce (except, where necessary, those permitted under Article XXIV (8)(b) of the WTO General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)) shall be eliminated on substantially all trade in goods between the Parties.
“applied Most Favoured Nation (MFN) tariff rates” shall refer to the respective applied rates of the Parties as of 1 July 2004; and
Upon signing of this Agreement, the Parties shall commence consultations on each other’s trade regime, including, but not limited to the following:
trade and tariff data;
The tariff reduction or elimination programme of the Parties shall require tariffs on listed products to be gradually reduced and, where applicable, eliminated in accordance with this Article.
Normal Track: Products listed in the Normal Track by a Party on its own accord shall have their respective applied MFN tariff rates gradually reduced or eliminated in accordance with specified schedules and rates (to be mutually agreed by the Parties) over a period from:
1 January 2006 to 31 December 2011 for Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, and India;
The number of products listed in the Sensitive Track shall be subject to a maximum ceiling to be mutually agreed among the Parties.
The commitments undertaken by the Parties under this Article and Article 7 of this Agreement shall fulfil the WTO requirements to eliminate tariffs on substantially all the trade between the Parties.
modalities, including detailed rules governing the tariff reduction and/or elimination;
With a view to expediting the expansion of trade in services, the Parties agree to enter into negotiations to progressively liberalise trade in services on a preferential basis with substantial sectoral coverage. Such negotiations shall be directed to:
progressive elimination of substantially all discrimination between or among the Parties and/or prohibition of new or more discriminatory measures with respect to trade in services between the Parties, except for measures permitted under Article V(1)(b) of the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS);
To promote investments and to create a liberal, facilitative, transparent and competitive investment regime, the Parties agree to:
enter into negotiations in order to progressively liberalise their investment regimes;
Where appropriate, the Parties agree to strengthen their cooperation in the following areas, including, but not limited to:
Mutual Recognition Arrangements, conformity assessment, accreditation procedures, and standards and technical regulations;
Sectors of Cooperation:
agriculture, fisheries and forestry;
Trade and Investment Promotion:
fairs and exhibitions;
The Parties agree to implement capacity building programmes and technical assistance, particularly for the New ASEAN Member States, in order to adjust their economic structure and expand their trade and investment with India.
With a view to accelerating the implementation of this Agreement, the Parties agree to implement an EHP, which is an integral part of the ASEAN-India RTIA, for products covered under paragraph 3(a) below. The progressive tariff reduction under the EHP shall commence from 1 November 2004, and tariff elimination shall be completed by 31 October 2007 for ASEAN-6 and India, and 31 October 2010 for the New ASEAN Member States.
For the purposes of this Article, the following definitions shall apply unless the context otherwise requires:
“ASEAN 6” refers to Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand; and
“applied MFN tariff rates” shall refer to the respective applied rates of the Parties as of 1 July 2004.
The product coverage, tariff reduction and elimination, removal of non-tariff barriers, rules of origin, trade remedies and emergency measures applicable to the EHP shall be as follows:
Common products on which the Parties agree to exchange tariff concessions are listed in Annex A.
Modality for Tariff Reduction and Elimination
The modality for tariff reduction and elimination for the products covered by the EHP shall be finalised under Article 8(2) of this Agreement.
In order to fully realise the potential benefits of the EHP, the parties shall promote and facilitate trade in all products listed in the EHP. The parties shall also endeavour to refrain from using non-tariff measures adversely affecting trade in Early Harvest products.
Products covered by the EHP shall qualify for tariff preferences in accordance with the Rules of Origin to be agreed under Article 8(2) of this Agreement.
The WTO provisions governing modification of commitments, safeguard actions, emergency measures and other trade remedies, including anti-dumping and subsidies and countervailing measures, shall, in the interim, be applicable to the products covered under the EHP and shall be superseded and replaced by the relevant disciplines negotiated and agreed to by the Parties under Article 3(8) of this Agreement once these disciplines are implemented.
The Parties shall also explore the feasibility of cooperation in the areas listed in Annex C.
For trade in goods, negotiations on the agreement for tariff reduction/elimination and other matters as set out in Article 3 of this Agreement shall commence in January 2004 and be concluded by 30 June 2005 in order to establish the ASEAN-India FTA.
India shall continue to accord Most-Favoured Nation (MFN) Treatment consistent with WTO rules and disciplines to all the non-WTO ASEAN Member States upon the date of signature of this Agreement.
Subject to the requirement that such measures are not applied in a manner which would constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination between or among the Parties where the same conditions prevail, or a disguised restriction on trade within the ASEAN-India FTA, nothing in this Agreement shall prevent any Party from taking action and adopting measures for the protection of its national security or the protection of articles of artistic, historic and archaeological value, or such other measures which it deems necessary for the protection of public morals, or for the protection of human, animal or plant life, health and conservation of exhaustible natural resources.
The Parties shall, within one (1) year after the date of entry into force of this Agreement, establish appropriate formal dispute settlement procedures and mechanism for the purposes of this Agreement.
There shall be established an ASEAN-India Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) to carry out the programme of negotiations set out in this Agreement.
This Agreement shall include the Annexes and the contents therein, and all future legal instruments agreed pursuant to this Agreement.
The provisions of this Agreement may be modified through amendments mutually agreed upon in writing by the Parties.
For the ASEAN Member States, this Agreement shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of ASEAN, who shall promptly furnish a certified copy thereof to each ASEAN Member State and India.
This Agreement shall enter into force on 1 July 2004.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, we have signed this Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Republic of India.
DONE at Bali, this 8th day of October, 2003 in duplicate copies in the English Language.