Points to Remember:
- India and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed to review their decade-old free trade pact.
- Their joint statement said the review aimed to make the agreement more “user-friendly and simple”.
- Commerce Minister PiyushGoyal said it will “help protect the interests of our industry & farmers, create jobs & boost ‘Make in India'”.
- India’s trade deficit with ASEAN nations widened to $12.9 billion in 2017-18, from about $5 billion seven years ago.
- The free trade pact, which initially excluded software and information technology, was signed in 2009 after more than six years of negotiations.
- The goods trade between India and ASEAN grew 9.8% to $80.8 billion in 2018 from the previous year, while foreign direct investment inflows to India from ASEAN members rose to $16.48 billion, nearly 37% of total inflows.
- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising ten countries in Southeast Asia, which promotes intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and sociocultural integration among its members and other countries in Asia.
- Secretariat: Jakarta
- Membership: 10 states & 2 observers
- Secretary General: Lim Jock Hoi
- Establishment: 8 August 1967 (Bangkok Declaration)
Important Possible questions based on above News:
- At present how many members are associated with the ASEAN Group? 10 member countries
- Who is the present Secretary General of ASEAN? Lim Jock Hoi