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India says ASEAN-India free trade talks not dead

The Star, Malaysia

India says ASEAN-India free trade talks not dead

27 July 2006

KUALA LUMPUR: Trade talks between India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are very much alive, despite reports that they they have been suspended, an Indian minister said Thursday.

"We in India are very keen and are looking forward to have an ASEAN-India free trade agreement,’’ Rao Inderjit Singh, the deputy minister of defence procurement, told The Associated Press.

He is in Kuala Lumpur to attend a the Asean regional security meeting.

He said India’s Commerce Minister Kamal Nath will travel to Malaysia next month to convey India’s keen interest.

Nath will carry a letter from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, he said.

"It is not dead. It is still alive. Some of the other foreign ministers of ASEAN members we spoke to said that for them FTA is of merit,’’ he said.