Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Asean ministers to sign India trade deal

Asean ministers to sign India trade deal

Asean ministers to sign India trade deal

SINGAPORE - Asean is set this week to finalise a free-trade agreement with India and hold talks with Australia and New Zealand, signalling the importance of regional pacts amid fading hopes for a global trading regime.

Economic ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, meeting in Singapore today through Friday, are expected to put the final touches on an Asean-India trade in goods pact agreed on by senior officials earlier this month.

The deal covering billions of dollars is expected to be signed during the Asean-India Summit in December, officials have said.

Asean economic ministers will also hold talks with their counterparts from Australia and New Zealand in an effort to have a trade agreement ready for signing by December, a Southeast Asian diplomatic source said.

Forging the trade links with India and the two Pacific nations will complete the bloc's ties with all its key Asia-Pacific trading partners, and could be a catalyst for a regionwide free-trade zone, officials said.

The overriding focus of this week's meeting will be on efforts to achieve a single market and manufacturing base by 2015 to raise Asean's profile in the face of competition from China and India.

Regional FTAs are gaining fresh momentum after the latest attempt to end a seven-year deadlock in the so-called Doha Round of global trade talks broke down in July because of a dispute between India and the United States over agricultural tariffs.

But while Asia is forging ahead with trade linkages, the region has a major task in integrating its financial markets, which are now larger, deeper and more sophisticated than they were a decade ago, it said.

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh