Mint | 9 October 2023
India, Peru set to resume discussion on trade agreement
by Ravi Dutta Mishra
New Delhi: The commerce ministry on Monday said that a special round of negotiations for the India-Peru trade agreement is set to take place during 10-11 October and will include an investment chapter.
Talks for the India-Peru trade agreement commenced in 2017, with the fifth round concluding in August 2019. The sixth round is slated to be held in December 2023 in Lima, Peru.
The negotiations had come to a pause due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, the India-Canada free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations have come to a halt due to a diplomatic standoff. Trade experts said that New Delhi is redirecting its negotiations to other markets.
The India-Canada relationship hit a new low, with both the countries announcing the expulsion of diplomats after Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau accused Indian government agents of having a hand in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
India’s goods exports declined for the seventh consecutive month in August, falling nearly 7% year-on-year to $34.48 billion, due to a slowdown in sectors such as petroleum products, gems and jewellery, readymade garments, and chemicals.
The economic survey for FY23 had pointed out that India’s exports remain restricted to a few nations and that there was a need to diversify.
The commerce ministry has said that India and Peru have been experiencing a steady growth in bilateral trade. During FY23, bilateral trade volume had hit $3.12 billion. India exported goods worth $865.91 million to Peru, and imported goods valued at $ 2.25 billion from the country.
"Key Indian exports to Peru include motor vehicles or cars, cotton yarn and pharmaceuticals, while Peru primarily exports gold, copper ores and concentrates," the ministry said.
The ministry added that discussions on various chapters including Initial Provisions and General Definitions, Rules of Origin, Trade in Goods, Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation, Technical Barriers to Trade, Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures among others.
General and Security Exceptions, Cooperation and Legal, and Institutional Issues or Dispute Settlement are also expected to be undertaken during this special round, the government said in a statement.
"Discussions on Services, Movement of Natural Persons, Trade Remedies and Investment chapter will be held later in the month based on mutual convenience of the negotiators," the ministry stated.
The Indian track will be led by chief negotiator Vipul Bansal, joint secretary, Department of Commerce, and Peruvian track will be led by Gerardo Antonio Meza Grillo, director for Asia, Oceania and Africa, Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism.