Trade and Economic Arrangements between India and South East Asia in the Context of Regional Construction and Globalisation

The economic and trade relations between India, on one hand, and South-East Asia, on the other hand, are shaped by numerous agreements and groupings, which may become formal international Organisations in the future. They are indeed based not only on comprehensive economic agreements or free trade agreements between India and ASEAN or at the bilateral level with Thailand and Singapore in particular, but also on the BIMST-EC and MGC groupings. After having been mainly based on informality and ad hoc arrangements, they are today more institutionalised and founded on a more formal corpus of law. This paper first presents those regional initiatives, and how they are governed and managed. Then, it makes the statement that they are overlapping but, at the same time, they are also influenced by the same philosophy of trade and economic liberalization and influenced by the WTO system, in terms of law, institutions and dispute settlement. They are also the result of a tension between the multilateral, regional and bilateral levels and they aim to protect different interests at different levels. The paper finally discusses the possible influence of these arrangements between India and South-East Asia on the future organisation of the regional economic and trade integration of East-Asia.


Table of Contents


About the Author

List of Tables


Trade and Economic Arrangements and Groupings between India and South-east Asia: An Overall Presentation

– ASEAN’s (Association of South-East Asian Nations) Evolution

– India’s External Policy on Economy and Trade

– Development Trade and Economic Relations between India and ASEAN

– New Regional Groupings between India and South Asian States: BIMST-EC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Cooperation) and Economic Cooperation and MGC (Mekong-Ganga Cooperation)

– Bilateral Trade and Economic Relations

– Regional Trade and Economic Arrangements and the World Trade System

The Institutional Frame for Trade Liberalization and Economic Cooperation between India and South-East Asia

– The Institutional Frameworks at the Regional Level

– Legal and financial instruments

– Regional Disputes Settlement Mechanisms

– Trade management at the International Level: The World Trade Organisation system

– The World Trade Organisation system

Arrangements between India and South-East Asia: Creation of a Regional Legal System on its own or Decentralisation of the Multilateral Trade and Economic Law

– The Compatibility of Regional Trade Agreements (RTA) with the WTO Regime

– An Infinitely Variable Trade and Economic Law: Overlapping or Complementary Agreements between India and South-East Asia

– The Ongoing Creation of Multilateral and Regional System of Law


– Which Future for the Ongoing East Asian Community?

– Is ASEAN-India Partnership a Premise for a more Integrated East-Asia Community?


– Appendix 1: Asean and Indian Foreign Direct Investments

– Appendix 2: Comparative GDP Per Capita

– Appendix 3: India’s Trade with ASEAN Countries


  • In :
    CSH Occasional Paper N°19
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