Malaysia’s Trade Minister was quoted saying that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has suspended free-trade talks with India because New Delhi is demanding that 850 goods it imports from South East Asia to be excluded from the list.
Malaysia has been playing spoil sport to the deal because of India’s insistence to include palm oil, its primary export to be on the list. The original list has been pruned down from 1414 to about 854 and India has stated that it will be impossible to budge from that point. Interestingly, ASEAN nations have agreed to much higher numbers with other nations and groups such as China (2000 products), Singapore (5400), Bay of Bengal Initiative for MultiSectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) (1072), etc.
Obviously, Malaysia is playing for self-gain and to suit its traditional anti-India policies.