India, Malaysia conclude CECA talks; may ink trade pact soon | business | Hindustan Times
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India, Malaysia conclude CECA talks; may ink trade pact soon

business Updated: Sep 26, 2010 11:15 IST

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India and Malaysia may soon sign a comprehensive bilateral trade pact as the two sides have closed two-year long negotiations in Kuala Lumpur last week.

"The seventh and last round of the talks has been completed...the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) may be now signed soon," an official told PTI.

The pact with Malaysia, a member of Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), has the potential to significantly boost the $ 8 billion bilateral trade, the official added.

He said India would gain from the pact, negotiations for which started in 2008, in areas like transport equipment, machinery, spices and metals.

Recently, Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar had expressed hope that the pact with Malaysia might be concluded by end of this year.

From October 24 to 30, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to visit Japan and Malaysia for bilateral dialogue, and Vietnam for the 8th ASEAN-India Summit.

India, which has entered into a free trade agreement in goods with ASEAN, is also negotiating separate market opening pacts with two other member countries -- Thailand and Indonesia.

In 2005, India had entered into a comprehensive trade pact with Singapore, another ASEAN member.