Friday January 7, 2005
Japan, India agree to conclude dialogue involving FTA in 1 yr
(Kyodo) - Japan and India agreed Thursday to conclude in one year the ongoing dialogue on economic cooperation, which involves the possibility of signing a free trade agreement, Japan’s trade minister Shoichi Nakagawa said.
Nakagawa told a press conference after meeting with Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath, "We’d like to reach a conclusion of working-level talks on bilateral economic ties in about a year."
Nakagawa proposed launching the dialogue during his previous visit to India last August. The talks are aimed at boosting trade and investment, which remain sluggish, between the two countries, Japanese officials said.
The conclusion of the dialogue could lead to the start of negotiations in 2006 on concluding an FTA, they said.
Nakagawa and Nath also agreed that the two countries will discuss whether to extend India’s iron ore export contract with Japan, which will expire in 2006, the officials said.