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Kamal Nath leaves for Philippines Asean Summit

12
Jan '07
Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, left last night for the Philippines ahead of the Prime Minister's visit in connection with the 5th ASEAN-India Summit scheduled to be held at Cebu in the Philippines on 14th and 15th January, 2006.

Preceding the Summit, Shri Kamal Nath is scheduled to attend the ASEAN-India Economic Ministers Meeting being held in the Philippines today, 11th January, 2007. He is also scheduled to have interactions with the ASEAN plus the economic ministers of Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea at a luncheon meeting on 12th January. Shri G.K. Pillai, Commerce Secretary, is accompanying the Minister.

Background:
The Association of South East Nations (ASEAN) consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Regional Trade Agreements or Free Trade Agreements (RTAs or FTAs) broadly involve mutual granting of concessions in tariffs on agreed items of trade, specific rules of origin to determine eligibility of these concessions (value addition, change of tariff heading etc.) and negative / sensitive lists to exclude certain items from such tariff concessions.

FTAs in general are expected to make available greater market access for exports from India. Further, the increased flow of trade in goods and services provides additional benefits to the economy.

A Framework Agreement on a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between India and the ASEAN was signed in October 2003 at Bali in Indonesia, and the negotiations for concluding the CECA have been going on. The key elements of the Framework Agreement on the India-ASEAN CECA cover FTA in goods, services and investment as well as economic cooperation in identified areas.


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