The Indian government has actively sought bilateral trade agreements with other so-called developing countries, as well as with industrialized countries. At the end of June 2005, the government signed a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement with Singapore, which many Indians say is the first “comprehensive” free trade agreement. India also signed free trade agreements with ASEAN (2009), Korea (2009) and Japan (2010), which were subsequently criticized for widening India`s trade deficit with its three trading partners. These agreements were followed by another agreement signed with Malaysia (2011). India expects its pact with Sri Lanka to be revalued into a similar type of comprehensive economic partnership agreement. It should be noted that India forged major free trade alliances with Asian countries (ASEAN, Japan and Korea) around the 10th G.A. Despite this, the share of these markets in Indian exports has declined over the past ten years, from 51% to 46%. While over the same period, the share of our exports from traditional markets such as the United States and Europe increased from 38% to 43% when it did not have a free trade agreement with any of the countries in the region. However, in this context, exacerbated by the fact that most countries are cautiously following their trade strategy, India must focus on far-reaching free trade agreements with trading partners that offer maximum trade complementarities, particularly in the United States and the EU. In the United States, our untapped export potential as a percentage of current exports is around 60%, compared to 90% for the EU.
There are a number of issues that need to be addressed in India`s approach to free trade agreements and trade agreements in general. EFTA  has bilateral agreements with the following countries – including dependent regions – and the blocs: ASEAN is one of India`s main trading partners. The ECSC with ASEAN came into force on January 1, 2010 and bilateral trade between the two parties increased from about $43 billion in 2009-10 to $97 billion in 2018-19. As with SAFTA`s Indian trade, bilateral trade between India and ASEAN grew faster than India`s total trade with the world, resulting in an increase of 9.4% to 11.5% of ASEAN`s share of Indian world trade. However, unlike India-SAFTA trade, Indian imports from ASEAN grew significantly faster than Indian exports to ASEAN. Another important point to take into account is that imports from ASEAN grew much faster than Indian imports from the world. The faster growth in imports has led to a significant increase in India`s trade deficit with ASEAN, from less than $8 billion in 2009-10 to about $22 billion in 2018-19. ASEAN`s share of India`s total trade deficit increased from about 7% to 12% over the same period. I am honoured to refer to the recent discussions on trade promotion between the People`s Republic of China and India, when it was agreed that trade relations between our two countries would continue to be governed by the terms of the trade agreement reached on 14 October 1954, which will end for a further period until 31 December. 1958, subject to the replacement of Article VII of the old agreement with the following article — Swadeshi Jagran Manch`s RSS-close did not vote in favour of multilateral trade agreements.