In pursuance of the ‘Look East’ policy, which has been a major pillar of the country’s foreign policy since the early 1990s, India has developed multi-faceted relationship with ASEAN countries both bilaterally and multilaterally. Taking this to the logical next phase, the ‘Act East’ policy of the Government of India endeavours to cultivate wide-ranging economic and strategic relations in South-East Asia. India’s trade with ASEAN was USD 74.6 billion in 2013-14 and accounts for about 10 percent of India’s total trade.
ASEAN, as a bloc, has become one of India's largest trading partners in recent years. India’s four major trading partners from ASEAN are Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, accounting for more than 80 percent of India’s trade with ASEAN.
The ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement, which was signed in Bangkok on 13 August 2009, entered into force on 1 January 2010. The ASEAN-India Agreement on Trade in Services and Investment was concluded in 2014 and will become operational from 1 July 2015. It provides business certainty to service providers from both India and ASEAN countries and is expected to strengthen business and commercial relations between ASEAN and India. It has also opened up opportunities of movement of both manpower and investments between India and ASEAN.
The India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement became operational from 1 August 2005. The second review of this CECA is underway. A Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement was signed with Malaysia on 18 February 2011. A Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement is being negotiated with Thailand.