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CECA and free trade agreements

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Ministry of Commerce & Industry, New Delhi


A Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between India and Singapore has been signed on the 29th June in New Delhi by the Prime Ministers of two countries. The CECA is structured as an integrated package of several agreements concerning Trade in Goods, Trade in Services, Investments and Economic Cooperation and a revised Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement. The CECA, which comes into effect from 1st August 2005, is expected to benefit both the countries in the form of increased bilateral trade, investment and economic cooperation as a whole.

Negotiations for the establishment of an FTA are going on with a number of countries which include (i) Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multisectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) comprising Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand; (ii) ASEAN and (iii) Thailand under the respective Framework Agreements signed on 8th February, 2004, 8th October 2003, and 9th October 2003 respectively. Negotiations with Sri Lanka and Mauritius are also at different stages for similar arrangements. With Sri Lanka, India already has a FTA, but the proposal is to have a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. Negotiations for the operationalisation of the South Asia Free trade Agreement (SAFTA) signed at the last SAARC Summit are also going on. Negotiations are also going on with Chile to have a Preferential Trade Agreement under the Framework Agreement signed on January 20, 2005. Besides these, feasibility studies of having Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement/Free Trade Agreement/Preferential Trade Agreement with a number of other countries are at different stages of examination.

This was informed by the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Shri EVKS Elangovan in the Lok Sabha here today.

 source: PIB