India inks FTA in Services, Investments With ASEAN

India inked a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in services and investments with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), paving the mode for a more relaxed movement of professionals and additionally opening prospects for investments between India and ASEAN.

India implemented FTA in goods with 10-member ASEAN in 2011. 9 out of 10 ASEAN nations have inked the agreement. Philippines , now the only ASEAN country yet to sign the pact, is finalizing its domestic process and is probable to sign soon.

All ASEAN members — Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam — are likely to get the contract approved by their Parliaments after which it will be formally adopted during the next India–ASEAN summit later this year.

The trade in services agreement contains all characteristics of a contemporary and all-inclusive pact and is in line with the other bilateral agreements that India has inked so far.

Few vital Articles encompassed in the agreement are ones on transparency, domestic regulations, recognition, market access, national treatment, increasing participation of developing countries, joint committee on services, review, dispute settlement and denial of benefits, etc.