“Over 21 sectors, the overall trade balance deteriorated in 10 to 13 sectors (reducing surpluses or increasing the deficit). Only the places where we have done better are ceramics, cement, paper, animal goods, etc. Only 10% of lines are excluded… Wanting to catch up with other countries in Thailand or Myanmar,” he said. Moreover, the signing of the RCEP cannot put an end to the process – since several countries must ratify the agreement through a parliamentary process. But officials also noted that there was not much room because there were no more complicated negotiations on the text. ASEAN-India trade increased by more than 22% per year over the 2005-2011 period. India-ASEAN trade increased by more than 37% in 1964-2002 to $79 billion, more than the $70 billion target set in 2009. [8] He went on to say that “subject to the outcome of the scoping exercise,” the ASEAN-India Joint Committee would be activated for the effective revision of the agreement. India`s trade deficit has widened since the launch of free trade agreements with Asean, according to the report prepared by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry and published on 11 November 2019. Given that Indian officials estimate that some lines are used up to 5%, India strives to ensure the trade balance in key lines, such as chemistry, rubber, metals, medical instruments and gemstones and jewellery. In 2008, the total volume of ASEAN-India trade was $47.5 billion. ASEAN`s exports to India amounted to $30.1 billion , a 21.1% increase over 2007.

ASEAN imports from India amounted to $17.4 billion , a 40.2 per cent increase over 2006. With regard to foreign direct investment (FDI), India`s inflow to ASEAN Member States amounted to USD 476.8 million in 2008, or 0.8% of the region`s total. India`s total direct investment in ASEAN amounted to $1.3 billion between 2000 and 2008. The trade and investment statistics of ASEAN`s dialogue partners can be accessed by www.asean.org/22122.htm. Another interesting observation in the paper is that India`s net exports to non-trade countries were only slightly lower than its net exports to countries with free trade agreements.