1. The Fifth Consultations between the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) and the Minister of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of India was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 24 August 2006. The Consultations was co-chaired by H.E. Dato’ Seri Rafidah Aziz, Minister of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia and H.E. Kamal Nath Minister of Commerce and Industry of India.
2. The Ministers took the opportunity provided by the annual consultations to exchange views on global and regional developments, in particular issues which could potentially shape ASEAN-India economic relations.
3. The Ministers noted that, despite the challenges, bilateral trade between ASEAN and India continued to increase. In 2005, total trade increased by 30.4% from US$ 17.6 billion in 2004 to US$ 23.1 billion in 2005.
ASEAN-India Free Trade Area (AIFTA)
4. The Ministers noted the progress in the negotiations to establish the AIFTA and the efforts to move the negotiations forward. They reaffirmed their will and commitment to establish the AIFTA and directed their senior officials to explore ways to show flexibility in resolving the issues separating both sides, especially those pertaining to the modality on trade in goods. As an impetus to moving the trade in goods negotiations forward, the Ministers agreed that each ASEAN Member Country shall provide India with its individual sensitive list, while India shall provide ASEAN with its one common single sensitive list.
5. In addition, the Ministers agreed that the negotiations on goods be concluded early and negotiations on trade in services and investment be commenced once substantial progress has been made in the negotiations on trade in goods.
List of Ministers
- H.E. Dato’ Seri Rafidah Aziz, Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia, Chairperson
- H.E. Mr. Kamal Nath, Minister of Commerce and Industry, India, Co-chairperson
- Mr. Lim Jock Hoi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Brunei Darussalam
- H.E. Dr. Cham Prasidh, Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce, Cambodia
- H.E. Dr. Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister of Trade, Indonesia
- H.E. Dr. Nam Viyaketh, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Lao PDR
- H.E. U Soe Tha, Minister for National Planning and Economic Development, Myanmar
- H.E. Mr. Elmer C. Hernandez, Undersecretary of Trade and Industry, The Philippines
- H.E. Mr. Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore
- H.E. Mr. Uttama Savanayana, Vice Minister for Commerce, Thailand
- H.E. Mr. Truong Dinh Tuyen, Minister of Trade, Viet Nam
- H.E. Mr. Ong Keng Yong, Secretary-General of ASEAN