[Ip-health] India to speed up trade talks with EU, Japan and Malaysia

Leena Menghaney leena.menghaney at geneva.msf.org
Fri Aug 27 01:32:38 PDT 2010

India to speed up trade talks with EU, Japan and Malaysia
Economic Times, India, 25 August 2010

NEW DELHI: India is taking proactive measures to conclude bilateral trade
agreements with the European Union, Japan and Malaysia, as the future of the
Doha round of multilateral trade talks look uncertain because of the
protectionist stance of the developed countries.

"We are making efforts to conclude the talks as soon as possible. I will
meet my counterparts from the EU, Asean countries, Japan and Malaysia to
speed up the process," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has said.
Sharma is scheduled to meet key ministers of Asean countries in Vietnam on
Aug 26 and 27.

India signed trade in goods agreement with the Association of South-East
Asian Nations (Asean) last year. The agreement that came into force from the
January 1, 2010, covers tariff liberalisation between the sides.

However, out of 10 nations that form Asean, only four - Vietnam, Singapore,
Thailand and Malaysia - have operationalised the agreement so far.

Sharma is hopeful that remaining six countries would also operationalise the
pact soon. Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and
Philippines are other members of the association that have not
operationalised the agreement yet.

India targets to increase its trade with Asean countries to $70 billion by
2012 from $43.5 billion in 2009-10.
Sharma said India would continue to look for new trading partners in a bid
to reduce dependence on the conventional partners like the US and European

"Diversification of trade is essential. This has drawn more attention
because of the developed countries," he added.
During his Vietnam visit, Sharma is also scheduled to meet Japanese trade
minister Masayuki Naoshima, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gutch and
Malaysian Minister for International Trade and Investment Mustapa Mohamed to
review the progress made towards India-Japan Comprehensive Economic
Partnership Agreement (CEPA), India-EU Trade and Investment Agreement and
India-Malaysia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA)
negotiations respectively, an official statement said Wednesday.

"Commerce and industry minister will look forward to reiterating high
commitment of India for an early and balanced outcome of these FTA
negotiations," it added.

Sharma will be heading an official delegation to Vietnam to review progress
on India-Asean Services and Investment negotiations. The ministerial-level
meeting is aimed to prepare a roadmap for the ensuing Asean-India summit at
Hanoi in October 2010.


Leena Menghaney

Medecins Sans Frontieres
Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines (India)
C 236 Defence Colony, New Delhi, India
Tel: +91 11 46573731, +91 11 46573730
leenamenghaney at gmail.com

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