Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India on September 16 held the 19th consultation meeting on economic cooperation in Cambodia under the chair of Cambodian Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak and India's Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Anupriya Patel.
Participants at the event agreed that trade and economic relations between ASEAN and India are starting to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, citing preliminary ASEAN data for 2021 which showed that two-way trade between ASEAN and India reached 91.5 billion USD, up 39.2% year-on-year while total foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows from India increased from 200 million USD in 2020 to 2 billion USD in 2021.
They noted that the post-pandemic economic recovery remains vulnerable to global economic challenges, and expressed deep concern over geopolitical tensions and continued risks to the economy. global food and energy security, as well as increasing inflationary pressures.
The officials acknowledged the significant progress in ASEAN’s post-pandemic recovery efforts, including through the implementation of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework. They also reaffirmed their commitment to take collective actions to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic and work towards a sustainable post-COVID-19 recovery while resolving to ensure macroeconomic and financial stability as well as to preserve supply chain connectivity.
The meeting welcomed ASEAN and India to forge collective actions in securing a robust supply chain connectivity to maintain the flow of essential goods and services through the launching of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) Upgrade Negotiations, mutual recognition of COVID-19 vaccination, vaccines production, public health surveillance, and medical technologies in moving forward with the post-pandemic recovery responses and facing future health crises.
It also endorsed the scope of the review of the AITIGA which makes it more user-friendly, simple, and trade facilitative for businesses, as well as responsive to the current global and regional challenges including supply chain disruptions.
To carry out this task, the meeting activated the AITIGA Joint Committee to undertake the review of AITIGA expeditiously./.