India-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement: A Survey of Literature
   ·   01 Jun, 2009   ·   75    ·    Special Report

An analysis of the history of India-ASEAN relations reveals a rather checkered past. A time-intensive process, it took nearly a decade to establish stronger dialogue partnership and strengthen cooperation and cordial relations among the ASEAN countries and India; their relations grew from a sectoral to a full dialogue partnership. Since then the collaboration has transcended beyond the realm of functional cooperation to cover political and security dimensions. India has been actively participating in a series of consultative meetings with ASEAN that include the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the Post Ministerial Conferences (PMCs), 10+1, 10+10 and Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC).

Acknowledging the economic potential of closer linkages, both sides recognised opportunities for deepening trade and investment ties and agreed to sign a framework agreement to pave the way for establishing an India-ASEAN Free Trade Area. The initiation of the ASEAN (+1), India process, which was implemented in November 2002, was a turning point in India-ASEAN ties. This furthered the signing of the landmark India-ASEAN Framework Agreement for Comprehensive Economic Cooperation in 2003 that formed the basis of the FTA which included goods, services and investments and has to be fully functional by 2016. The India-ASEAN FTA is significant because it is the first multilateral FTA that India has negotiated till date. 

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