India, Turkey brew FTA; to set up study group

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 29 2010, 05:43am hrs
India and Turkey will set up a joint study group to explore the possibility of entering into a free trade agreement (FTA). Though Indias trade with the Central Asian is a little over $3 billion, a trade agreement that brings down duties across goods could increase trade substantially over the years.

Meetings between the two sides are going on ... we are again meeting here again in September. The JSG will submit its report by end the year-end or in the first quarter of 2011, additional secretary in the commerce ministry AK Mangotra said on the sidelines of a Ficci-organised conference. He said the JSG could get completed by the year end.

The key commodities that India exports to Turkey are cotton, man-made yarn, chemicals and pharma goods.

Major import items into India from Turkey include nuclear reactors and fertilisers.

Mangotra identified sectors such tourism, petro-chemicals and minerals that hold a big potential for Indian companies. He also added that strategically Turkey is an important player as a trade agreement with the country could allow India access to Europe and member-countries of Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) like Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

India is negotiating free trade agreements with several countries Japan, Australia and EU. While India wants a commitment from the negotiating countries to put service liberalisation at par with goods, it has found little support. Earlier in an interview with FE commerce secretary Rahul Khullar had bluntly said that India would look to enter a comprehensive trade agreement with both goods and services a part of it.