NEW DELHI– Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has welcomed the decision of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to review its free trade agreement (FTA) with India, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.
Speaking at the 16th ASEAN-India Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, on Sunday, the Indian PM said the re-examination will make their economic links stronger and trade more balanced.
An integrated, unified and economically developed ASEAN will serve India’s fundamental interests, he said.
The two sides were committed to building stronger links with road, maritime, air and digital connectivity, he added.
Modi also revealed India’s intent to integrate itself further with Southeast Asia.
Last month, ASEAN and India started reviewing the FTA on goods to make the deal more user-friendly, simple and trade facilitative.
In 2003, the two sides signed a framework agreement on comprehensive economic cooperation to establish ASEAN-India trade and investment region, creating the basis for the subsequent FTAs including goods, services and investment.
They agreed to review the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) inked in 2009.
Founded in 1967, ASEAN groups 10 member countries, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.