Cabinet Likely To Approve India, Japan Trade Pact

The Union Cabinet is tomorrow likely to approve India’s free trade agreement with Japan, which may be signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Tokyo later this month.

Cabinet Likely To Approve India, Japan Trade PactSignificantly, the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) will pave way for the Indian pharmaceuticals to get access in the highly regulated Japanese market, a high level source said.

Besides, thousands of other products ranging from steel and apparel to machinery will be traded between the countries, either without duty or at substantially reduced tariffs.

The Prime Minister is scheduled to visit Tokyo on October 24 for the India-Japan Summit.

Comprehensive in nature, the EPA will cover both –trade in goods as well as investments and help boost the USD 11 billion bilateral commerce.

However, sensitive items in agriculture and employment-oriented sectors have been kept out of the purview of the pact.

The negotiations for the EPA have been conducted for three years but efforts to conclude it had intensified at the beginning of this year.

India has already operationalised market opening trade pacts with the ASEAN and South Korea.

-HT



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