Apoorva Singegol Writes: India has taken a step ahead with regard to international trade integration and has put forward its wish to join the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). APEC is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim member economies that promotes free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region. It was earlier this month, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely told a New York audience that India wants to join APEC. The Indian government seems to be all set to enter into APEC in order to achieve its economic potentials and bolster its Act East Policy.
US welcomed India’s wish to join APEC as it will not only be beneficial for the India’s economy but also is going to benefit the US to achieve its strategies in Asia. Matt Salom, of the House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, expressed that membership in APEC would provide India a constructive forum to glean insight in other Asian countries that have already taken significant steps to advance their economies. India if gets into APEC, it will be welcomed by the Asian business houses which wish to invest in India, as entry into APEC will allow to have free trade between these economies.
Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd – led Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) has launched a task force which will develop a strategy for gaining India’s membership in the forum. The ASPI initiative, ‘India and APEC: Charting a Path to Membership” will be supported in India by the Confederation of India Industry (CII). Since APEC is a consensus organization, every present member to should agree to grant India a permission of admission in APEC.
The membership status of India in APEC will be decided by the group of 21 Pacific Rim nations in their meeting at Lima (Peru) in November. India is open for the negotiations and Mr. Jaitely stated that “You can’t claim to be one of the fastest growing economies in the world and not think of trade as a win- win option”. Thus it will be interesting to see what further steps India will take, in order to secure its place in the APEC. This will strengthen and enhance its Asian Economic activities and reinforce its economic potential. The Stronger the trade and investment ties among India and other Asia- Pacific economies the stronger will be the stability in these regions.