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India to sign pact with EU

After inking free trade agreements with two countries recently - a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan and a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement with Malaysia - negotiations for a proposed comprehensive market opening pact with the 27-nation European Union is also on the verge of getting signed soon. HT reports.

business Updated: Feb 21, 2011 21:50 IST
HT Correspondent

After inking free trade agreements with two countries recently - a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with Japan and a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) with Malaysia - negotiations for a proposed comprehensive market opening pact with the 27-nation European Union (EU) is also on the verge of getting signed soon.

"We have completed 12 rounds of negotiations between India and EU and now, we have entered into the advance stage," Anand Sharma, commerce and industry minister, said at a function of All India Management Association (AIMA).

To make these pacts useful for stakeholders and common man, a commerce ministry team has decided to travel across the country to explain the impact of these agreements.

From the agreements signed so far, India-Japan CEPA has been considered as the most comprehensive of all. It covers more than 90% of the trade, a gamut of services, investment, IPRs, customs and other trade-related issues. The agreement, which is a part of "Look East" policy, gives greater market access to Indian professionals as Japan's offer to India is substantially above its offer at the World Trade Organisation.

Export targets of $200 billion for 2010-11 are in comfortable zone, Sharma said. "We have already exceeded the set targets and will end up exporting around $220 billion this fiscal."