India to implement FTA with Indonesia, Cambodia soon

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 31 2010, 06:04am hrs
India will soon implement the free trade agreement (FTA) in goods with two more Asean countriesIndonesia, Cambodiaby slashing duties on hundreds of products including seafood, chemicals, apparel and tyres. In turn the two countries will also slash import duties on hundreds of Indian goods.

Besides, India will also meet New Zealand officials in October in Wellington to speed up the ongoing talks for a market opening pact, aims to enhance the $754 million trade between the two nations.

Recently in Delhi, the second round of negotiations was held. The third round is scheduled in October in Wellington (capital of New Zealand). It will be at the Joint Secretary level, an official said here.

The first round of formal talks was held in New Zealand in April this year. Commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma last week met New Zealand trade minister Tim Groser in Vietnam on the sidelines of the India-Asean economic ministries meet.

According to the industry experts, the trade between the countries could grow to $4 billion in 10 years if a market-opening free trade agreement is signed.

The FTA with ASEAN, operationalised with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on January 1, is already functional with four membersSingapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam. Indonesia and Cambodia have completed the internal approval process of the pact. They have formally informed commerce minister Anand Sharma in Vietnam. Both will issue a notification in this effect with in a week, a senior commerce ministry official said.

Sharma had on August 27 attended the India-ASEAN Economic Minister Meet in Da Nang in Vietnam. The remaining fourLaos, Philippines, Brunei and Myanmarmembers would take some more time to implement the pact, the official said.