NEW DELHI: A parliamentary committee has suggested 69 ways to improve India’s trade with the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean).
The committee comprising 31 MPs, including former ministers Kamal Nath and Kapil Sibal, headed by BJP MP Bhupendra Yadav submitted its report on Friday. The report stated that India should “engage Asean for giving better market access to Indian goods where we have an edge over them like leather goods, pharmaceuticals, etc so that trade balance may be improved”.
The committee has made 69 recommendations, including early ratification of India-Asean trade agreements, better market access in Asean countries and safeguarding textile and pharmaceutical exports. The committee had met the representatives of 15 ministers for this issue.
The panel notes that Asean countries are not making much investment in India’s manufacturing sector.
Hence, it has recommended that CEO forums should interact regularly. The panel has recommended that the government should be vigilant against the safeguard measures being imposed by Asean on textile exports. It has also taken note of the non-tariff barriers coming in the way of exports of pharmaceutical products to Asean and recommends that the department of commerce should come out with appropriate remedial measures. It has also asked that steps be taken to improve Indian banking facilities in these countries.
Yadav said “trade with Asean countries is of strategic importance to India and it will also boost investments in the northeastern states of the country”. Recently, commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that if India and Asean countries were to recognise their full business potential, then they need to fast-track the ‘corridors of connectivity’ and ‘corridors of trade’.