Trends and Patterns of Merchandise Trade
India’s engagement with ASEAN has gained momentum since the 1990s with the initiation of India’s ‘Look East Policy’ and a conscious translation of the trade policy objective of diversifying its trade partners. While the former has led to an evolution of this bilateral relationship from India becoming a sectoral partner of ASEAN in 1992 to a dialogue partner in 1996 and finally a Summit partner in 2002, the latter is reflected in growing volumes of bilateral trade over the last two decades. The ASEAN-India bilateral trade has increased from US$ 2.76 billion in 1992 to US$ 9.28 billion in 2002 and US$ 75.92 billion in 2012.1 The growing trade volumes have led to an institutionalized trade relationship as reflected in the ASEAN-India FTA (AIFTA). The FTA, the framework agreement for which was announced in 2003, was finally signed in 2009 and became effective on the 1 January 2010.