Since India granted Vietnam « Most Favored » nation status in 1975, trade relations have been robust. In 1978, the two countries signed a bilateral trade agreement, followed by the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) on 8 March 1997. Positive relations were established at the first Indian Business and Investment Forum, Exhibition and Buyer/Seller Meet in 2009, which aimed to improve economic engagement between the two countries. In the same year, India extended duty-free preferential tariff regimes to Cambodia. Indian businessmen in Cambodia have also established an Indian Chamber of Commerce to promote bilateral trade and investment relations. At the 10th ASEAN-India Summit in New Delhi on 20 December 2012, India and ASEAN concluded negotiations on free trade agreements on services and investment. Both sides expect bilateral trade to rise to $100 billion by 2015 and $200 billion within a decade.  Since the early 2000s, India has had a growing trade deficit with ASEAN, with imports exceeding exports by more than $6 billion in 2007-08.  There are concerns that gradual liberalization of tariffs and increased imports to India could threaten several economic sectors, including the plantation sector, some processing industries and the maritime industry.  As a dominant exporter of light industrial products, ASEAN has competitive tariffs that prevent India from accessing the industrial market in ASEAN countries.  India also signed a product free trade agreement with Brunei in 2010, which significantly reduced import duties on products ranging from seafood to chemicals and clothing.
In return, Brunei also reduced import tariffs on various Indian products. Before the signing of the agreement, Kerala`s Chief Minister, V.S. Achuthanandan, led a delegation to the Indian Prime Minister to protest against the free trade agreement. The state of Kerala is a major exporter of domestic exports of plantation products. It is concerned that cheap imports of rubber, coffee and fish will reduce local production and ultimately harm farmers and their economies.  Kerala has already experienced a flood of its market with cheap imports under the 2006 South Asia Free Trade Agreement.