ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement: An Assessment

Signing the trade in goods agreement with the Association of South-East Asian Nations has evoked mixed reactions in India. The plantation sector, the marine products industry and some light manufacturing industries are feeling threatened by this deal. This is not completely unexpected as some of the south-east Asian countries have a much higher level of efficiency in these sectors as compared to India. This article studies the tariff schedule of India and does a preliminary evaluation of the ASEAN-India free trade agreement.

Does a Free Trade Agreement with ASEAN Make Sense?

In the short run, India is not going to benefit from the free trade agreement with the Association of South-East Asian Nations that was finalised recently. ASEAN is not a natural trading partner of India, and, unlike China, India has not established close relations with the region. But the agreement may make strategic sense in the long run, especially if India wishes to become a hub for services exports.

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