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India, South Korea agree to impart ‘fresh momentum’ in CEPA up-gradation talks

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Jan 11, 2022
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Trade Ministers decide to work towards reaching $50 billion bilateral trade target before 2030

India stressed the need for fast-tracking the upgradation process of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with South Korea and raised issues of concern such as the large trade deficit and industry’s demand for greater market access and lower non-tariff barriers, in a meeting between Trade Ministers on Tuesday.

Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal hosted his Korean counterpart Yeo Han-koo in New Delhi and held wide ranging discussions covering the whole gamut of bilateral trade and investment related aspects, according to an official release.

“The Ministers agreed to impart fresh momentum to the discussions on CEPA up-gradation negotiations and also promote extensive B2B interactions on trade and investment between the industry leaders of the two countries,” the release said.

Negotiating teams from both countries were instructed to meet on a regular basis in order to conclude the CEPA up-gradation negotiations as soon as possible in a time bound manner building upon support from relevant stakeholders.

Addressing difficulties

Both countries agreed to address difficulties expressed by industries from both sides and try to achieve the target of $ 50 billion before 2030, which was agreed at the summit meeting in 2018.

“This regular negotiation shall be a forum to discuss the difficulties of business community from both countries and emerging trade-related issues including supply chain resilience. The Ministers agreed to boost bilateral trade between India and Korea to achieve growth in a fair and balanced manner to the mutual advantage of both sides,” the release added.

India’s exports from South Korea in 2020-21 were at $4.2 billion while imports from the country were at $9.5 billion.

New Delhi has been complaining about Indian businesses gaining far less from the CEPA than their South Korean counterparts and the need for up-gradation of the pact in a way that favours India and reduces the trade gap.

Published on January 11, 2022

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