To fast-track trade and Commerce with Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, India has signed Agreement on Trade in Goods under the broader framework of Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between India and the ASEAN on 13.08.2009. India and the ASEAN have also concluded negotiations on Agreement on Trade in Services and Agreement on Investment in December, 2012. India has also entered into Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreements with Singapore and Malaysia which came into effect on 01.08.2005 and 01.07.2011 respectively. India and Thailand signed a Framework Agreement (Early Harvest Scheme) on 09.10.2003. India and Thailand are presently negotiating a Comprehensive India-Thailand Free Trade Agreement. India and Indonesia have also agreed for negotiating a CECA.
With a view to open up North-East region as a part of Look East Policy, the focus is on connectivity with the region including land, sea and air connectivity. With a view to promote exports from the North-East region, a North East Cell has been set up in the Department of Commerce. An Export Development Fund (EDF) has been set up with the objective of promoting exports from the region. Activities which have a linkage with exports from the region are eligible for assistance from the EDF such as setting up of pioneering/pilot projects aimed at exports, provision of equipment and machinery for the pioneering pilot projects aimed at export, creation of common facilities for boosting exports, facility for developing testing and standardization as well as quality improvement of export products.
Proposals are received from State Governments of North-East States from time to time for providing better assistance to North-East States.
72 proposals have been approved for final assistance under Export Development Fund for North-East Region.
This information was given by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Dr. D Purandeswari in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.