On Monday, the Government of India signed the long-pending pact on services’ trade and investment with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). This will mean more market access to the 10 countries in the bloc for our many professionals.
India and Asean already have a free trade agreement (FTA) on goods; it took effect in 2010. Once the FTA in services and investment gets ratified, the entire set of pacts will become a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.
Nine of the 10 Asean countries have signed the deal but not the Philippines, due to domestic reasons. To become operational, all 10 must sign it and all the respective legislatures must ratify it. So, for that matter, must India’s Parliament.
Asean’s members are Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brunei, Cambodia and Laos.