A richer partnership

At a time when the APEC countries (of which India is not a member) are discussing the possibility of creating a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) involving the US and countries in Asia and Latin America, India's FTA with the ASEAN is welcome, given that some studies have suggested that it is on the whole trade-creating rather than diverting. However, this and future such FTAs cannot be seen as substitutes for much-needed domestic reform, as well as other facilitation measures, to create a better overall trading environment if India is to come close to emulating the trading success of its East Asian counterparts.

Co-authored by Sasidaran Gopalan. Ramkishen S. Rajan and Gopalan are professor of international economic policy and research scholar, respectively, at George Mason University, US, express@expressindia.com

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