AITIGA Joint Committee Reviews ASEAN-India Trade Agreement for Enhanced Collaboration

AITIGA Joint Committee Reviews ASEAN-India Trade Agreement for Enhanced Collaboration

The 3rd meeting of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) Joint Committee, convened in Vanijya Bhawan, New Delhi, showcased significant developments in the ongoing review process. Co-chaired by Rajesh Agrawal and Mastura Ahmad Mustafa, the meeting, held from February 16-19, 2024, witnessed the active participation of delegates from ASEAN countries, including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

AITIGA’s Evolution and the Review Initiative

Signed in 2009, the AITIGA has played a pivotal role in shaping trade relations between India and ASEAN. Recognizing the need for an enhanced framework, both sides initiated a review process in September 2022. The AITIGA Joint Committee, tasked with overseeing the review, established eight Sub-committees to delve into various policy areas related to the Agreement. Noteworthy progress was made during the first two meetings held in May and August 2023.

AITIGA Joint Committee Reviews ASEAN-India Trade Agreement for Enhanced Collaboration

The recent 3rd meeting of the Joint Committee saw detailed discussions and assessments of the negotiations’ progress. Sub-committees, specializing in market access, Rules of Origin and Standards, technical regulations, and conformity assessment procedures, reported their findings. The Joint Committee, following intense deliberations, identified specific focus areas for further negotiations and updated the work program for the ongoing review. The Sub-committees were provided with guidance to carry forward the negotiations effectively.

AITIGA’s Impact on India-ASEAN Relations

India-ASEAN trade has witnessed a substantial growth, reaching USD 131.58 Bn in the fiscal year 2022-23. The ongoing review of AITIGA is expected to pave the way for even greater collaboration by facilitating the expansion of trade in a balanced and sustainable manner. Both parties are committed to concluding the review by 2025, with the 4th meeting of the AITIGA Joint Committee scheduled to take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in May 2024.

As the AITIGA review progresses, the collaborative efforts of India and ASEAN underscore their commitment to fostering a mutually beneficial trade relationship. The outcomes of the Joint Committee’s deliberations signal a positive trajectory for future collaborations, and the upcoming meetings are poised to play a crucial role in shaping the economic landscape of the region.

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