Target $125 billion India-Asean trade by 2015

NEW DELHI: Trade between India and the 10- nation Asean bloc should be enhanced to USD 125 billion by 2015, with greater flow of investments in infrastructure, IT, Pharma and tourism, representatives of the members of the grouping said today. 

"Despite all necessary framework agreements in place, the volume of our trade and investment has remained relatively low as compared to some other partners. We should aim to raise India-Asean trade to USD 125 billion by 2015," Chairman of India-Asean Business Promotion Council Shantanu Srivastava said at an 
Assocham conference here. 

He also suggested promotion and facilitation of 
foreign direct investment (FDI) and raising it to 10 per cent of total FDI into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. 

While India-Asean trade grew from USD 2.90 billion in 1993 to USD 80 billion last year, this accounts for 10 per cent of India's trade, and 3 per cent of Asean's total trade. 

As far as the FDI is concerned, the inflow from India to Asean accounts for 4 per cent of the total FDI into Asean while Asean's investments into India account for about 10 per cent of the total inflows into India. 

"India, with its huge domestic market, strong infrastructure and business friendly policies provides a vast potential waiting to be tapped," Dato Paduka Hj Sidek Ali, Dean of Asean and High Commissioner of Brunei Darussalam said. 

Opportunities for investments are available in infrastructure, software and IT, 
hospitality industry and tourism, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, agriculture, food processing, small and medium enterprises, mining, oil and gas downstream industries, he added. 

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations was founded on August 8, 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand. Its member-countries are: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, 
Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia.