New Delhi: Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, C R Chaudhary said that India’s trade relationship with ASEAN is a key pillar of its regionalpolicy and the foundation of its Act East Policy which is further reinforced by increase in trade in goods and services and investment agreements. Addressing a plenary session during the 4th India ASEAN Expo and Summit 2019 in New Delhi today,CR Chaudhary said that India accords high priority to its economic and trade ties with ASEAN and it has yielded rich dividends over the years. India-ASEAN bilateral trade increased to USD 81.3 billion in 2017–18 from USD 56.2 billion in 2010–11 registering a growth of 16.04%.He said that India and ASEAN have enhanced their bilateral trade target to USD 200 billion and to achieve this targetremoving tariff is very crucial.
MoS Commerce and Industry further said India and ASEAN have emerged as economically strong region growing at steady pace despite global slowdowns.He said India’s economy is forecast to expand by 7.5 per cent during the 2019-20 and remain the fastest growing major economy in a world of slowing growth.ASEAN economy is expected to grow at 4.7% in 2019. He said India and ASEAN with over USD 5 trillion combined economy present innumerable opportunities in multiple sectors for investors across the globe.
The Minister said that innovation in business model led by adoption of technology along with emergence of digital economy will be a key factor in driving overall economic growth in longer term. Both India and ASEAN possess vibrant SMEs ecosystem, booming technology based start ups and business friendly policiesand are marching on the right growth path. The Minister further said that the services sector remains the key driver of India’s economic growth and its share in the global exports which grew from 3.1 per cent in 2014 to 3.47 in 2017 is expected to reach 4.2 per cent by 2022. The services sector is poised to be a game changer in India’s growth story and is expected to achieve USD 3 billon size out of 5 trillion Indian economy by 2025.
C R Chaudhary informed that India is exporter of software services and is also becoming a medical tourist destination because of high quality and affordable medical services.The Minister said that Government of India has identified 12 champion’ services sectors, including IT, tourism and hospitality, for realizing their potential. Champions sector initiative will up a great window ofopportunity for technology and investment collaboration between ASEAN and India.Demand for ecommerce is expected to grow phenomenally in view of high penetration of mobile telephone services.