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Govt to ink FTAs with Asian countries

The govt is eyeing Free Trade Agreements with a host of nations including Japan, China and Korea.

india Updated: Mar 20, 2006 12:27 IST

The government on Monday said it is looking at the possibility of Free Trade Agreements with a host of nations including Japan, China and Korea with a view to increase India's trade with Asian countries.

"The government is in the process of setting up a Joint Study Group for conclusion of FTAs with Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and Korea apart from examining ways to develop regional trade arrangements with China," Minister of State for Industry Ashwani Kumar said at the Asia Corporate Conference in Mumbai.

An FTA was also being explored with the Gulf Cooperation Council, he said, adding that all these measures were in line with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's vision of creating an Asian Economic Community.

India has already signed a Framework Agreement on Economic Cooperation with Asean and a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement with Singapore, he said and asserted that India was determined to be a leader in the 21st century.

The country has also emerged as an attractive investment destination as was evident from a number of studies by UNCTAD, Goldman Sachs and AT Kearney, he said, adding that Rs 354,000 crore of investments have been proposed in 2005.

Besides, India was also becoming an investing country itself, Kumar said. The policy on Indian investment overseas has been progressively liberalised to encourage corporates to access new markets and technologies, increase global competitiveness and achieve international scale of operations, he added.

First Published: Mar 20, 2006 12:27 IST