According to Mr. Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Government of India, “One of our greatest challenges today is that the world has increasingly started looking inwards. In such protectionist times, India and the ASEAN nations represent an aspirational world which represents about 2 billion people. The Finance Minister was speaking at the Valedictory Session of the ASEAN - India Business Meet and Expo being organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of External Affairs today.
He pointed out that both India and ASEAN were fast growing regions in a world which was slowing down. These two regions represented areas which were looking outward for growth and not inward.
He stated that there is great opportunity for investment in India and prospects to further trade and investment relations with the ASEAN region especially in sectors such as infrastructure, manufacturing and services.
According to H E Alounkeo Kittikhoun, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Lao PDR India and ASEAN needed to deepen and strengthen their cooperation in trade and investment, focus on advancing B2B linkages through Jt. R&D projects, focus on strengthening cooperation in vocational education and physical connectivity among others.
Mr. C R Chaudhary, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Government of India stated that some of the areas that India and ASEAN could focus on included trade in services, promotion of investment and development of alternate sources of energy.
Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary General, ASEAN stated that ASEAN was committed to concluding the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations this year itself. He called for greater Indian participation in the various forums set up under ASEAN.
According to Mr. Anoop Wadhawan, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, trade and investment formed a criticial part of the overall relationship between India and ASEAN. He stated that 10% of India’s trade was with the ASEAN region and 17% of its FDI was accounted for by ASEAN countries.
Mr. Rakesh Bharti Mittal, President - Designate, Confederation of Indian Industry stated that India and ASEAN could focus on Developing Global Value Chains, energy and resources, ICT, and tourism, media and entertainment.
January 23, 2018