India officially inked a free trade agreement (FTA) in services and investments with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on September 9.

According to “The Hindu” newspaper, all ASEAN members are expected to get the agreement ratified by their parliaments before it will be formally adopted during the India-ASEAN Summit scheduled for later this year.

The pact is expected to open up opportunities of movement of both manpower and investments, allowing India to leverage its competitiveness in the areas of finance, education, health, information technology, telecommunications and transport.

It will also be specially helpful for balancing India ’s deficit with ASEAN countries in trade of goods.

The India-ASEAN agreement on trade in goods became operational in 2010.-VNA