India, Spain Agree To Better Market Access

New Delhi, January 27: | Updated: Jan 28 2003, 05:30am hrs
India and Spain have agreed that further initiatives and better market access are necessary conditions to expand bilateral trade flows which are well below their potential.

This was indicated in the agreed minutes of the seventh meeting of the Indo-Spanish joint commission held in Madrid from January 20-21, says an official release.

The Indian delegation to the meeting was led by commerce secretary Dipak Chatterjee and the Spanish delegation by senior secretary general of trade Francisco Ultera Mora.

The two sides exchanged views on bilateral trade, which is currently to a large extent in Indias favour, the growth in Spanish imports from India during the last few years and the market advantages and enterpreneurial initiativs in both the countries. While congratulating the Indian government on the steps taken in the liberalistion of the economy, the Spanish side hoped that the reform would result in increased opportunities for Spanish exports to India.

In regard to EU-India commercial relations, the Spanish side noted the Indias dissatisfaction with the Generalised System of Preferences in force for India compared to that for Pakistan. The Indian team also expressed concern at the adverse impact on Indias trade of clothing and made-ups covered under Chapters 61 to 63 of the Customs tariff due to certain discriminatory concessions extended to Pakistan under the drug-regime of the revised GSP scheme.

This discriminatory concession made the exports of clothing originating in Pakistasn cheaper by 10 per cent making the Indian imports uncompetitive and resulting in a trade loss of about $ 250 million annually.

The Spanish side however clarified that the case was a consequence of the special inclusion of Pakistan in the GSP for combating drug trafficking and and remarked that for textile items (Chapters 50 to 60 of the Customs Tariff), the customs treatment in GSP was the same for India and Pakistan.