THE SEVENTH AEM-INDIA CONSULTATIONS
13 August 2009, Bangkok, Thailand
JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT
1. The ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) and the Minister of Commerce and Industry
of the Republic of India met at the Seventh AEM-India Consultations in Bangkok, Thailand on 13 August 2009, and signed the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (TIG) and other AIFTA-related Agreements. The Consultations w as co-chaired by H.E. Porntiva Nakasai, Minister of Commerce of Thailand and H.E. Anand Sharma, Minister of Commerce and Industry of India.
2. The Ministers viewed that the signing of the AIFTA Trade in Goods Agreement comes at an opportune time as part of the region’s response over the growing concern of a global economic and financial crisis. The AIFTA cou ld serve as a vehicle to help sustain the region’s growth that would benefit and improve the
welfare of peoples of ASEAN and India, as well as the East Asian region.
3. The TIG Agreement is one of the key elements tha t will facilitate the creation of an open market in a region comprising about 1.7 billio
n people and with a combined gross domestic product of approximately US$ 2.75 trillion as of 2008. The Ministers noted the increase in ASEAN-India investments, which reached US$ 5 billion in 2008.
4. The Ministers noted that, despite the challenges prevailing in global and regional trade, ASEAN-India bilateral trade continues to grow at impressive rates. From 2006-2008, trade in goods between ASEAN and India increased at an average annual rate of 28 percent the fastest among ASEAN’s major trading partners. The share of ASEAN-India trade in relation to total trade of ASEAN and India continued to increase and India remains ASEAN’s
seventh largest trading partner.
5. The Ministers agreed to expedite domestic procedures for the early entry into force of the AIFTA TIG Agreement.The Ministers noted that AI
FTA TIG Agreement would enter into force on 1 January 2010 or the date by which such notifications have been made by the
Governments of India and at least one (1) ASEAN Member State.
6. The Ministers noted the progress of the negotiations for services and investment and encouraged all parties to conclude these agreements as a single undertaking as soon as possible. The Ministers emphasised that the need for greater understanding and exercising flexibility among the parties to bring the negotiat
ions to a successful conclusion and looked forward to reviewing the progress of these negotiations in October 2009.
7. The Ministers also took stock of the latest developments in the Doha Round and emphasised that a stronger multilateral trading system would benefit all WTO members,
especially the developing countries. The Ministers reaffirmed its support towards the
successful conclusion of the Doha Round by 2010 and remained firm in seeking an ambitious and balanced conclusion to the DDA negoti ations in all areas, especially in
agriculture, NAMA and services. Since the Doha Round is a Development Round, the developing countries have a special stake in its successful conclusion.
8. The Ministers assured Lao PDR of their continued support in her accession to the
LIST OF MINISTERS
1. H.E. Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade,
2. H.E. Cham Prasidh, Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce, Cambodia
3. H.E. Anand Sharma, Minister of Commerce and Industry, India
4. H.E. Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister of Trade, Indonesia
5. H.E. Nam Viyaketh, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Lao PDR
6. H.E. Dato’ Mustapa Mohamed , Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia
7. H.E. U Soe Tha, Minister for National Planning and Economic Development, Myanmar
8. H.E. Peter B. Favila, Secretary of Trade and Industry, the Philippines
9. H.E. Lim Hng Kiang , Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore
10. H.E. Porntiva Nakasai, Minister of Commerce, Thailand
11. H.E. Nguyen Cam Tu , Vice Minister, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam
12. H.E. Surin Pitsuwan , Secretary-General of ASEAN