South East Asia

Enhancing India-ASEAN Trade and Economic Integration

India’s relations with South-East Asian nations have been evolving, both on economic and socio-cultural fronts since India adopted its Look East policy (now ‘Act East’ policy). India became a sectoral dialogue partner of ASEAN in 1992 and then its full dialogue partner in 1995. Over the years, India’s trade ties with the countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) have been strengthening.

 In the era of bilateral and multilateral agreements, establishing trade relations with the member countries of the ASEAN has been of immense economic significance to India. ASEAN holds a significant position in India’s total trade. India’s total trade with ASEAN has increased from USD 7.06 billion in 2000-01 to USD 71.68 billion to 2016-17. India’s total trade with ASEAN region formed 10.85% of India’s total trade with the world in 2016-17.

 In order to materialize further the potential gains from trade and maximize the benefits of India’seconomic cooperation with ASEAN countries, research work to arrive at a comprehensive wish list identifying the potential areas where India can boost its exports of goods and services, incentivize inward FDI flows from ASEAN, gain from investing in ASEAN countries is ongoing. 

The study aims to further explore the areas where India and ASEAN can collaborate and realize mutual gains from technology and knowledge partnership as well. The study is in the process of preparing country-specific potential areas that can be tapped in the realms of mainly trade in goods. 

This is being aggregated to find a future course of policy action from India’s trade engagements with ASEAN as a whole. These are further geared towards integrating India in the RVCs in ASEAN and beyond.

Review of India-Singapore CECA and India-Malaysia CECA

Currently, these studies are being directed towards India-Singapore CECA and India-Malaysia CECA as these are under review. The broad contours of research include reviewing the existing agreements; assessing the gains to India and Singapore and Malaysia; identifying and analyzing the avenues of the economic cooperation agreement which need to revisited and the scope of improving the agreements to create a win-win situation for both India and the partners.