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Next Round of Talks for India-ASEAN Trade Pact Review Scheduled for July

On May 7-9, 2024, in Putrajaya, Malaysia, the 4th Joint Committee meeting for the review of AITIGA (the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement) was held. Ms Mastura Ahmad Mustafa, Deputy Secretary General (Trade), Ministry of Investment, Trade & Industry, Malaysia, and Shri Rajesh Agrawal, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, India, co-chaired the meeting. Participating in the meetings were delegates from all ten ASEAN nations as well as India.

The discussions for review of AITIGA, to make it more trade-facilitative and beneficial for businesses across the region, started in May 2023. The Joint Committee undertaking the review work has met four times so far. The Joint Committee finalised its Terms of Reference and the Negotiating Structure for the review negotiations in its first two meetings and initiated the negotiations for review of AITIGA from its third meeting held from 18-19 February 2024 in New Delhi.

A total of 8 Sub-Committees have been constituted for dealing with different policy areas of the Agreement in the review and out of these, 5 Sub-Committees have started their discussions. All the 5 Sub-Committee reported the outcomes of their discussions to the 4th AITIGA Joint Committee. Four of these Sub-Committees dealing with ‘National Treatment and Market Access’, ‘Rules of Origin’, ‘Standards, Technical Regulations and Conformity Assessment Procedures’ and ‘Legal and Institutional Issues’ also met physically in Putrajaya, Malaysia alongside the 4th AITIGA Joint Committee. The Sub-Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary had met earlier on 3rd May 2024. The Joint Committee provided necessary guidance to the Sub-Committees.

ASEAN is one of the major trade partners of India with a share of 11% in India’s global trade. The bilateral trade stood at USD 122.67 Bn during 2023-24. The upgradation of AITIGA will further boost bilateral trade. Both sides would next meet for the 5th Joint Committee meeting from 29-31 July 2024 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

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Source: PIB/ HT

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