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The PECC Discussion Forum provides op-eds and relevant news in the PECC community. The opinions contained in the Discussion Forum submissions are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of PECC or its member committees.

India and APEC: Not Yet There, But Getting Closer

Amitendu Palit
Head (Partnerships & Programmes) and Senior Research Fellow
The Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS)


India is not a member of the APEC notwithstanding its long history of cultural and commercial exchanges with several APEC members. While this might seem odd, the absence is not difficult to explain.

India was hardly a blip on the region’s radar when the ‘flying geese’ began fanning their wings after the 2nd World War, drawing struggling economies with colonial pasts into a well-knitted architecture of explosive export growth combining cheap labour, embodied technology and disciplined organization practices. India’s inward-looking defensive trade policy, coupled with commitment to non-alignment and ideological discomfort with laissez faire and open trade policies, ensured its distance from the APEC remained far and unbridgeable.

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FTA Strategies in China and India

Ganeshan Wignaraja
Principal Economist, Office of Regional Economic Integration, Asian Development Bank

Slow progress in the WTO Doha Round trade talks has seen China and India have focussing on free trade agreements (FTAs) as a vehicle of trade strategy and economic diplomacy. By mid-2011, the two Asian giants were among Asia's leaders in FTA activity with 11 each in effect in both China and India. The number of FTAs under negotiation and proposed suggested that such activity will rise in the future, as China has another 13 agreements in the pipeline and India another 20. China has FTAs with ASEAN, Hong Kong, Macao, Chinese Taipei, Pakistan, New Zealand, Chile and Peru, among others.

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