PM proposes India-ASEAN start-up festival

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has proposed an India-ASEAN start-up festival on October 28, 2021.


  • This announcement was made in a virtual meeting of leaders of ASEAN at “18th India-ASEAN Summit”.
  • On the occasion, PM also called for an early review of ASEAN India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in goods, which India has been asking for Indian businesses to gain better market access in ASEAN region.

Significance of FTA

ASEAN approval for reviewing FTA is important for India to address the problem of non-tariff barriers that Indian businesses face. India’s trade deficit with ASEAN region has widened since 2010, when FTA was implemented. Thus, to bridge the trade deficit, bloc should initiate some measures.

India-ASEAN start-up festival

India-ASEAN start-up festival was announced as a part of friendship year celebration between India & ASEAN in the year 2022. It was announced outlining the importance of technology & innovation in post covid-19 economic recovery.

India-ASEAN relations

India’s relationship with ASEAN is a significant pillar of its foreign policy. This relationship acts as the foundation of Act East Policy. India and ASEAN share 25 years of Dialogue Partnership, 5 years of Strategic Partnership and 15 years of Summit Level interaction with ASEAN.

Economic relations

ASEAN is the fourth largest trading partner of India. India’s trade with ASEAN accounts for 10.6% of India’s overall trade. India’s export to ASEAN accounts for 11.28% of the total exports. ASEAN-India Free Trade Area has also been completed.

ASEAN India-Business Council (AIBC)

AIBC was set up in 2003 for brining key private sector players from India and ASEAN on a single platform.

People to People ties

Both the bloc run programmes like inviting ASEAN students to India, Exchange of Parliamentarians, Special Training Course for ASEAN diplomats etc to strengthen the people to people ties.




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