The emerging power of India and ASEAN are exploring ways to expand trade relations amidst the economic crisis at the inaugural Delhi Dialogue on 21 Jan 2009 against the backdrop of increasing trade between the two sub-continents to the tune of nearly US$37 billion over the last 10 years.
After the signing of the ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement in Feb 2009, bilateral trade is expected to reach US$50 billion with India hoping to tap into ASEAN’s service-sector markets in banking, information technology, telecom, education and tourism.
India is also eyeing collaboration in areas such as healthcare, disaster management, research and development, and technological development. East Asia is an appropriate test bed for the pharmaceutical companies as it has seven of the 10 most densely populated countries of the world, just between ASEAN and India, there is a combined strength of 1.7 billion people.
From the ASEAN perspective, ASEAN wants to follow an open market policy to combat the impact of the global financial crisis. The unified market targeted for 2015 looks at the free flow of goods, services, investment and skilled professionals and the setting up of a regional fund. The region also has one of the highest savings reserves in the world and a combined GDP of US$2.4 trillion
Such alliances are needed to buffer against the global financial crisis.
Kohli, Damanjeet, "India, ASEAN explore ways to expand trade relations" dated 22 Jan 2009 in the Channelnewsasia website [downloaded on 23 Jan 2009], available at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/eastasia/view/404009/1/.html