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PM Manmohan Singh meets Japanese PM Noda in Cambodia Upendra Rai Editor & News Director,Sahara News Network Last Updated : 20 Nov 2012 12:26:19 PM IST Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with other Heads of States at a group photo session during the 10th ASEAN-India Summit at Peace Place in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Monday.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced that India is ready to conclude the much-delayed Free Trade Agreement in Services and Investment with ASEAN by next month.
Manmohan Singh announced that India is ready to conclude the much-delayed Free Trade Agreement in Services and Investment with ASEAN by next month that will provide a "springboard" for rapid expansion in ties, as he invited investments from the 10-nation grouping citing "enormous opportunities".
Contending that enhanced cooperation between India and ASEAN was crucial for promotion of peace, security and stability in the region and addressing shared challenges, he said the agreement in Services and Investment with ASEAN will send a strong signal of deepening economic engagement.
He also cited the steps taken by India to improve investment environment.
Addressing the India- ASEAN Summit here, Singh said India's relationship with the 10-nation grouping continues to grow in all dimensions, with commerce and connectivity being vital areas of this relationship in which good progress has been made.
He referred to the India-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement on Trade in Goods signed in 2009 and said it has served well, with the two-way commerce increasing to nearly USD 80 billion in the Indian financial year ending March 2012, exceeding the target of USD 70 billion.
"I would like to inform Your Excellencies that India is prepared to conclude the Agreement on Trade in Services and Investment Promotion before the Commemorative Summit in Delhi in December. This will be a strong signal of our deepening economic engagement, and will allow for rapid expansion in
trade and investment flows in both directions," Singh said.
The FTA in Services and Investment were delayed due to strong differences between the two sides.
India to join ambitious trade agreement of 16 nations:
East Asian nations will on Tuesday launch negotiations for the ambitious Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a mega trade agreement comprising 16 countries of the region, including India in Phnom Penh.
India will be associated with the major economic bloc with an aim to boost its engagement with the countries of the region.
"Tomorrow, we will participate in the seventh East Asia Summit and launch the RCEP negotiations," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here today while addressing the India-ASEAN Summit.
He stated this as he invited greater investments from the South and East Asian nations, emphasising that enhanced cooperation will be crucial for stability and prosperity of the region.
Sanjay Singh, Secretary (East) in External Affairs Ministry, later said India will be involved in the RCEP, an initiative of ASEAN and its six dialogue partners.
The initiative involving the 10 ASEAN members and its partners that includes Australia, China, Japan, South Korea New Zealand and India proposes an economic partnership which will form the world's largest economic bloc.
The trade ministers of EAS countries will be meeting shortly to take the initiative forward.
Singapore was quick to welcome India's participation in RCEP. At the ASEAN Summit, Singh said India attaches the "highest priority" to ASEAN integration and believes in ASEAN's centrality.
The ASEAN leaders said India and members of the 10-nation grouping should share and build progress, utilising their strengths.
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