India participates in 20th ASEAN-India Economic Ministers’ Meeting in Indonesia

India participates in 20th ASEAN-India Economic Ministers’ Meeting in Indonesia

The 20th ASEAN-India Economic Ministers’ meeting was held on 21st August 2023 in Semarang, Indonesia.

The Economic Ministers or their representatives from all the 10 ASEAN countries viz. Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam participated in the meeting. 

Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste also joined the Meeting as an observer.

The Ministers reviewed the bilateral trade and investment relations between India and ASEAN and underscored their commitment to strengthen and enhance the economic partnership between India and ASEAN to ensure that the ASEAN-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership delivers meaningful benefits for both sides, particularly in the post-pandemic era. 

India and ASEAN registered a bilateral trade of USD 131.5 billion in 2022-23. The trade with ASEAN accounted for 11.3% of India’s global trade in 2022-23.

The Ministers also interacted with the ASEAN-India Business Council (AIBC) and took note of the activities undertaken by AIBC in 2023, including the 5th ASEAN-India Business Summit held on 6th March 2023 in Kuala Lumpur. 

The Ministers noted the Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) flagged by the businesses and appreciated the growing exchanges between the stakeholders from both sides.

The Ministers exchanged views on the regional and global challenges, such as the multidimensional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, heightened volatility in the global financial market, inflationary pressures, and geopolitical tensions. Both sides identified resilient supply chains, food security, energy security, health and financial stability as priority areas of cooperation.

The main agenda of this year’s meeting was the timely review of ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) which was signed in 2009. 

The decision for review of AITIGA will now be placed in the forthcoming India-ASEAN Leaders’ Summit scheduled in early September for further guidance.