Dec 7, 2012

India - Asean central pillar of Look East Policy :Gogoi

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Asean has emerged as a central pillar of India’s ‘ Look East Policy’ and this has paid rich dividends to both sides, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said today.

Asean was central to the emerging security and economic architecture of the region, Gogoi said at the inaugural session of the multi-sectoral business seminar on ‘Potential Opportunities for Boosting Indo-Vietnam Trade and Investment’ in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City.

“The launch of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations between Asean and its six free-trade partners, including India, will culminate in the formation of the largest free trade zone that will bring enormous benefit to the peoples of our region,” he said.

India and Asean economies have withstood the global economic crisis relatively well with India-Asean bilateral trade growing by over 10 times in the last decade, Gogoi said.

The Asean-India Free Trade Agreement in Goods has contributed to increased trade between India and Asean.

“I am confident that the free trade agreement in services and investment, once finalised, will give a boost to trade and services and facilitate movement of professionals across the region,” he said.

“India and Vietnam share close and traditional ties, which have their roots in the personal friendship between our founding fathers Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and President Ho Chi Minh. This relationship has, with time, acquired a multifaceted dimension with cooperation in areas as diverse as defence and security, commerce, investment, culture, education and capacity building,” he said.

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