ASEAN Current Affairs

India’s trade agreement with ASEAN inked

India today finally signed the long pending trade deal which covers services and investments with the 10-member Association of South Asian Nations which will open the gates for rapid and free movement of professionals to and from these nations.
India had signed the agreement on goods in 2010 which did not include the services agreement. This skewed the balance which should have been inherent in the agreement. This further intensified the need for a services and investments agreement to come to the front.
The agreement was formally signed by 9 members of the grouping with the exception of Philippines which has to overcome some specific procedures post which it is expected to sign too.
India and ASEAN have agreed under the General Agreement on Trade and Services in addition to commitments in various services and supply channels. Each member state has decided its own course and schedules to honour the commitments under the agreement.
ASEAN is an economic group of nations in Asia including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
India has bound itself in 3 phases of commitments: beginning with Philippines, then Indonesia and one for the rest of the nations.


Suresh Reddy to be first Indian Ambassador to ASEAN

Suresh Reddy has been appointed as a full-time envoy for ASEAN. Reddy is at present ambassador in Iraq and has been given credit for swinging about the Indo-Iraqi links. The Indian mission would be based out of Jakarta (Indonesia), which houses the ASEAN secretariat.

Even as the ASEAN has been storm-tossed by territorial worries with China and the future of the regional grouping seems uncertain, India has firmly adhered to its “centrality” by  taken an ASEAN-centric approach on the subject of the territorial claims in the South China Sea .

The Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh recently at the East Asia Summit (EAS) at Brunei, elucidated stating that “stable maritime environment is essential for meeting the common developmental aspirations of countries in the South and South East Asian region“.