Under a free-trade agreement, two trading partners reduce or eliminate customs duties on the maximum number of goods traded between them.
The Centre will make every possible effort so that Manipur gets full advantage of free-trade agreement (FTA) as the state is a gateway to Myanmar and ASEAN countries, Union Minister Piyush Goyal has said.
The minister stated this on Saturday during an interaction with industry bodies of Manipur.
India and the 10-nation ASEAN bloc implemented an FTA in January 2010.
Under a free-trade agreement, two trading partners reduce or eliminate customs duties on the maximum number of goods traded between them. Besides, they liberalise norms to enhance trade in services and boost investments.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members are Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Brunei and Laos.
“The Union minister also assured that his ministry will make every possible effort so that Manipur gets full advantage of the free-trade agreement as the state is a gateway to Myanmar and ASEAN countries,” an official statement said on Sunday.
Goyal said that a lot of efforts have been made and special infrastructural development projects have been initiated for the promotion of industry, trade and commerce in the region including the North-East Industrial Development Scheme and sanctioning of the Integrated Development and Promotion of Industrial Projects.
He also urged the industrial bodies to undertake cooperative ventures and start-ups to promote the industry and commercial trade as well as share technology and common platforms to optimise the outcome of the efforts.
“Northeast states will be taken care of to go on their own identity and not to rush either to Delhi or Kolkata for every issue,” he added.
During the interaction, representatives of industrial unions of the state that participated include Manipur Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Indo-Myanmar Border Traders’ Union, All Manipur Entrepreneurs’ Association, Business Excellence Group, Manipur Power loom Development Association, Manipur Handloom and Handicraft Entrepreneurs Artisan Development Society.
They raised issues pertaining to the need of introduction of transit duty system, reduction in visa fees, opening of trade-related offices, DGFT, Exim Bank, and RBI forex cells at Imphal, development of multi modal logistics park, transport subsidies to export and import traders, up-gradation of Imphal Airport with facilities of cold storage, and customs office.