India is in discussion with the 10-nation bloc ASEAN for initiating the review of the FTA (free-trade agreement) in goods between the two regions to seek more market access for domestic products.
- Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is a pact between two or more nations to reduce barriers to imports and exports among them.
- Under a free trade policy, goods and services can be bought and sold across international borders with little or no government tariffs, quotas, subsidies, or prohibitions to inhibit their exchange.
- The concept of free trade is the opposite of trade protectionism or economic isolationism.
- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a regional organization which was established to promote political and social stability amid rising tensions among the Asia-Pacific’s post-colonial states.
- The motto of ASEAN is “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.
- ASEAN Secretariat – Indonesia, Jakarta.
- Established in 1967 with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by its founding fathers.
- Founding Fathers of ASEAN are: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
- Ten Members: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
- Against the backdrop of aggressive moves by China, including the Ladakh standoff, India placed the ASEAN at the centre of India’s Act East policy and held that a cohesive and responsive ASEAN is essential for security and growth for all in the region.
- ASEAN is necessary for the success of the Security And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) Vision.
- The region is significant for diversification and resilience of supply chains for post-Covid-19 economic recovery.
- It is India’s 4th largest trading partner with about USD 86.9 billion in trade.