Pan Asian FTA may be future of the region: PM | india | Hindustan Times
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Pan Asian FTA may be future of the region: PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said that the flow of foreign investments into the country will increase.

india Updated: May 05, 2006 13:19 IST

Confident that the flow of foreign investments into the country will increase, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said that India is engaged in partnerships with other Asian nations through free trade and comprehensive economic agreements, which could herald in a Pan Asian FTA.

Addressing the opening session of the annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank in Hyderabad, Singh said the investment rate in the country was expected to see a further increase from the current level of 31 per cent of GDP.

Singh said India was engaged in partnerships with countries of the region through free trade and comprehensive economic cooperation agreements.

"We have concluded FTAs with SAARC, Singapore and Thailand. We are working on similar arrangements with ASEAN, Japan, China and South Korea. This web of engagements may herald an eventual free trade area in Asia covering all major economies of the region and possibly extending to Australia and New Zealand," he said.

He said this Pan Asian FTA could be the future of Asia and expressed confidence that this could open up new growth avenues for India's economy.

Singh asked ADB to study the benefits of such an economic agglomeration in Asia. "India is determined to carry forward the India-ASEAN partnership to an enlarged domain for making the 21st century a truly Asian century," he said.