NEW DELHI: A comprehensive economic partnership between India, ASEAN and six Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners will likely take place in 2017, an External Affairs Ministry official said’.
"A comprehensive economic partnership between India, ASEAN and six FTA partners is likely. We are hoping to complete it within this year," Joint Secretary in the MEA Anurag Bhushan said at 'Act East: India's ASEAN Journey' organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Kolkata.
"Once it is finalised the outcome would be a balanced and comprehensive trade agreement that would not only take care of trade and services but also investments," the official said.
Terming the year as historic as it was the 50th anniversary of ASEAN's existence and 25 years of Indo-ASEAN connectivity, Bhushan said there would be a business and investment summit -- a business fair in Thailand and an ASEAN-Indian conference in Kuala lumpur in 2017.
He said connectivity being a key factor in boosting partnership between the two regions, the trilateral highway between India, Myanmar and Thailand and the Kaladan Multi-Modal transit project were the prime focus of the Indian Government.
"The India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway in terms of road connectivity and the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit in terms of maritime connectivity are our flagship projects for the connectivity with the ASEAN," he said.