India and ASEAN discuss modifications to the Trade in Goods Agreement

The AITIGA Joint Committee recently convened its third meeting in New Delhi from February 16-19. The purpose of the meeting was to evaluate and discuss potential revisions to the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement.

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Delegates at the meeting of the AITIGA in New Delhi. (Photo: pib.gov.in)

The Agreement on Trade in Goods under the ASEAN-India Free Trade Area (AITIGA) was signed in 2009. In September 2022, both sides tasked the AITIGA Joint Committee with the review of the agreement to enhance trade facilitation and mutual benefits.

There are eight sub-committees under the AITIGA Joint Committee, each responsible for negotiating different policy areas related to the agreement.

The previous two meetings of the Joint Committee took place in May and August 2023.

During its third meeting, the committee had in-depth discussions and assessed the progress of the negotiations. The sub-committees presented their progress and outcomes regarding market access, rules of origin and standards, technical regulations, and conformity assessment procedures to the joint committee.

After the discussions, the committee identified key areas for further deliberations and updated the work program for review. It also provided guidance to the sub-committees to advance the negotiations.

In the fiscal year 2022-23, India-ASEAN trade reached 131.58 billion USD. The review of AITIGA will facilitate a balanced and sustainable expansion of trade between the two sides. Both parties aim to conclude the review by 2025. The 4th meeting of the AITIGA Joint Committee is scheduled to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in May 2024.

VNA