India, Japan resume FTA talks

RTT News 4/7/2010

India, Japan Resume FTA Talks

by RTT Staff Writer

India and Japan resumed dialogues Wednesday in New Delhi on a free trade agreement, or FTA, that will break duty and other impediments for bilateral investment and commerce in goods and services. At a three-day meeting, officials of both the countries would also discuss trade in services and investment, a key area of interest for India, reports say.

India is seeking market access mainly for its agricultural products and pharmaceuticals, besides services like information technology, English teaching and para-medical, a Commerce Ministry official said.

Both the countries have had several round of discussions without resolving basic differences, which are holding the agreement. The last meeting negotiating the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement was held in Tokyo last October.

Though bilateral trade was more than doubled over the past four years to around $11 billion in 2008-09, the figure is considered to be very low when compared to India’s merchandise engagement with China, the fastest growing economy of the world and Asia.

In 2008-09, trade between India and China was $42 billion, with exports of $32.5 billion to the Indian economy.

Japan’s tariffs remained high for a number of agricultural commodities. Besides, sectors such as oilseeds, dairy products, sugar and sugar products were facing higher tariffs, and non-tariff barriers like health standards were also affecting the Indian shipments.

In terms of standards and technical regulations, Indian goods often find it difficult to meet the Japanese requirements, the official added.

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source: RTT News