The ASEAN India Business Council (AIBC), representing the voice of industry in India and ASEAN, met in Vientiane last week to consolidate the process of mutually beneficial economic engagement between India and the ASEAN region.
They expressed their resolve to support ASEAN countries and India in developing an ambitious agenda to enhance trade and investment while recognizing that ASEAN and India have undergone significant economic transformations over time.
Trade and investment flows between the two sides have strengthened over the years and expanded to encompass common interests in economic relations.
Following a consultative meeting on Jul 13 at the Federation House of New Delhi, another meeting was scheduled by AIBC for Aug 6 in Vientiane. The meeting was co-chaired by AIBC’s Mr Harshvardhan Neotia (India) and Mr Dato’Ramesh Kodammal (ASEAN). They subsequently submitted AIBC priority recommendations to ASEAN Economic Ministers and Smt Nimala Sitharaman, Hon’ble Minister of State, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, government of India.
The set of recommendations aimed to strengthening economic ties and ease the process of doing business between ASEAN countries and India as well as facilitating a consultative process to address issues that still pose challenges to deepening their economic engagement.
The ASEAN India Transit Transport Agreement (AITTA) has to be negotiated and finalized before the date of completion of the India–Myanmar–Thailand (IMT) Trilateral Highway.
While it is being negotiated, industry recommends that negotiations start for a separate transit and transport agreement for IMT which could later be extended to cover the entire ASEAN region.
The Government of India is providing lines of credit to Indian companies investing in CLMV countries.
They recommended that the tendering process should be open to all eligible companies.
AIBC members have also suggested special arrangements for visas to facilitate and encourage India-ASEAN businesses and people-to-people exchanges.
Council members have proposed having an India –ASEAN Travel Card to ease travel for bona-fide travelers from India to ASEAN countries.