Indian-ASEAN bilateral trade projected to reach $50 billion in 2011

In 1992 India became a sectoral dialogue partner of ASEAN, a full dialogue partner in 1995 and a member of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in 1996. In August 2009, India signed a Free Trade Agreement with ASEAN under which ASEAN members and India will lift import tariffs on more than 80% of traded products between 2013 and 2016.

According to India's Institute of Objective Studies, this strengthening of ties has led to a "phenomenal increase in trade between India and ASEAN countries". From 1997 to 2008, the two-way trade witnessed an approximate seven-fold increase from the level of $5.9 billion to more than $48 billion in 2009. India-ASEAN trade accounted for an average of 9% of India's total trade in the last three years.

"Indian-ASEAN trade, which has been growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27% since 2000, stood at $48 billion in 2008-09. It is projected to reach $50 billion by 2011," the IOS stated.