India-Japan economic pact comes into force


New Delhi : An economic agreement which seeks to expand trade ties between India and Japan came to force Monday.

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Describing the comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) as a
major step in deepening trade ties, Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar said the agreement was in line with India’s larger vision of an East Asia partnership.

CEPA was signed Feb 16 in Tokyo and diplomatic notes were exchanged June 30.

This is India’s third CEPA after Singapore and South Korea. It covers more than 90 percent of trade, a vast gamut of services, investment, Intellectual Property Right (IPR), customs and other trade-related issues.

“CEPA provides a win-win situation for both countries,” the commerce ministry said in a statement.

According to it, CEPA would allow India to use Japanese investments, technology and management practices. “Japan can take advantage of India’s huge and growing market and resources, especially its human resources.”

Under the agreement, only 17.4 percent of the tariff lines have been offered for immediate reduction of tariff to zero percent by India.

The Japanese side has put 87 percent of its tariff lines under immediate reduction of tariff to zero.

“Tariffs will be brought to zero percent in 10 years on 66.32 percent of tariff lines to give sufficient time to industry to adjust to the trade liberalisation,” it said.

Current bilateral trade between India and Japan is around $12.6 billion. It is expected to touch $25 billion by 2014.