The India -ASEAN FTA (free trade agreement) is finally expected to be signed in August this year almost seven years after the negotiations started. The agreement which was scheduled to be signed early this year got delayed due to the political unrest in Thailand followed by the elections in India. This will be a landmark deal for both the nations as it will be signed after a lot of deliberations several glitches and breakdowns.
As per the deal, eight out of ten products will attract a maximum of 4% duty, if at all. It allows countries to impose 5% tariffs on sensitive products. India’s sensitive list includes manufacturing items like textiles, garments and automobiles. The agreement also allows India to shield 479 items - mostly agricultural goods - from tariff cuts.
While most Asean countries and India would be bringing down most of their tariffs by 2016 and some by 2019, special and differential treatment in terms of longer implementation period is being given to the less developed Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
Experts fell that this FTA will bring about an increasing competition in the ASEAN housing market as well as give India give the Indian industry, reeling under falling export numbers due to global downturn, deeper access into the South-East Asian market estimated at $1.1 trillion