SME Times News Bureau | 08 Aug, 2012
India, Chile set to expand PTA to increase trade
Ministers from India and Chile Tuesday decided to expand the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) to increase trade between the two nations, informed ministry of commerce and industry.
The Union Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles Anand Sharma Tuesday met Alfredo Moreno, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chile, where, they expressed satisfaction at the very strong political, diplomatic and economic ties between the two countries.
They recognised the role of the various MoUs and PTA in the growing economic ties between the two countries.
Both the ministers noted that the two countries had decided to expand the PTA in light of the narrow trade basket dominated by a few items, especially in Chile’s exports.
They noted with satisfaction the advanced state of the PTA expansion negotiations at the end of the 5th Round of negotiations concluded in New Delhi on 3rd and 4th August 2012, and the imminent finalisation of the expanded PTA for final approvals on both sides.
Both the Ministers recognised the advantages and importance of a more comprehensive agreement in the nature of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two countries, and agreed to process necessary approvals mandated by their respective laws in an expedited time frame, to proceed further in the matter. Sharma also mentioned the subject of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), which he said should be signed between the two countries.
Sharma asked his Chilean Minister to liberalise the business visa procedures in order to boost business relations between the two nations. He also asked the Chilean Minister of Foreign Affairs to consider the issue of long term multi-entry visa to Indian businessmen.
The two Ministers noted with satisfaction the growth in economic ties between the two countries resulting in significantly enhanced bilateral trade and investment. While they noted that the absolute levels of trade and investment were still low and well below potential, they expressed satisfaction at the growth in recent years.
The bilateral trade between the two countries has increased to USD 2.6 billion in 2011-12 from USD 1.9 billion in 2009-10, showing a growth of 36 percent.
The Ministers noted that starting from almost negligible numbers about a decade back, the bilateral investment flows have also shown a discernible increase in recent years, with the cumulative bilateral investment between the two countries reaching close to half a billion dollars, mainly on account of very recent flows.
Both leaders noted that areas such as IT, oceanography, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, science & technology, agriculture & food processing, automobiles, engineering & machinery and infrastructure etc. offer considerable scope for further expansion of bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
They resolved to encourage and support enhanced engagement between the business community of the two countries through visits of business delegations between the two countries and participation in trade fairs and shows.