India-ASEAN trade to reach $80 bn: Official
Kolkata, March 23 (IANS) Giving more thrust to trade with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), India is expecting to clock $75-80 billion trade with the ten-nation bloc at the end of this fiscal, a senior government official said Friday.
"Our trade with ASEAN was $57-58 billion last fiscal. We expect that at the end of this financial year it would be at $75-80 billion," said Siddharth, joint secretary in the commerce ministry.
Talking to reporters, Siddharth said from April to December last year the amount of trade was over $59-60 billion.
"If you add one-third more, then it is going to be nearer $80 billion," he said.
On the country's trade deficit with ASEAN, Siddharth said: "Last year it was $30 billion. And it is decreasing."
India is pressing for an early conclusion of a pact with Southeast Asian nations for mutual opening of trade in services and liberalisation of investment norms.
India and the ten-nation Asean bloc already allow each other free market access in goods trade since January 2010.
"We have done trade in goods. On the trade in services and investment, the negotiations are going on," Siddharth added.