Kamal Nath calls for greater Indian access to Japanese agriculture market

August 4th, 2008 - 10:43 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi , August 4 (ANI): Minister of Commerce and Industry Kamal Nath on Monday expressed hope that the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) could be concluded during the next round of talks between India and Japan which are scheduled to be held in New Delhi in September.

He said this when Masahiko Koumura, the Japanese Foreign Minister called on him here today, Kamal Nath expressed hope that these talks will lead to a comprehensive mutually advantageous agreement covering all the issues of trade in goods, services, investment and other areas of economic engagement.

Observing that India and Japan do not have conflicting trade interests, Kamal Nath added that India s exports basket mainly consists of primary products while the Japanese exports are mostly of manufactured goods and electronic items.

India can be an efficient supplier of a number of items such as fruits and vegetables and marine products which Japan already imports in large quantity.

While thanking the Japanese Government for allowing market access for Indian mangoes, Kamal Nath expressed hope that Japan will be willing to address all the related issues and find permanent solution to these as offered by India in the last round of talks in Tokyo so that the gains of elimination of tariffs under the comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement are not neutralized by nullifying meaningful market access for Indian products in the Japanese market.

He further stated that India would also highly appreciate Japanese willingness to open more and more of its services sector, especially Mode-1 (cross-border trade) and Mode-4 (movement of natural persons).

Our areas of interest include professional and computer-related services, accounting, auditing, and book keeping services; architectural services; engineering services; medical and dental services; advertising services, and services for telecommunication and audio-visual communication, he added.

The total trade volume between India and Japan has touched 9.9 billion dollars in the year 2007-08. This amounts to a growth of about 25 per cent over the trade volume achieved last year.

The average growth rate in the last four years has been about 20 per cent. This is an improvement over the previous years, but it is still below the potential that exists for increased trade between the two countries.

Indian imports from Japan mainly consist of machinery and electronic goods while the exports are mainly of gems and jewellery, petroleum products and iron ore. (ANI)

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