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India, Chile sign trade agreement

The agreement provides tariff preferences ranging from 10 to 50 per cent on 178 products.

india Updated: Mar 08, 2006 20:59 IST

India and Chile on Wednesday signed a Preferential Trade Agreement as part of initiatives to increase trade and investment between the two countries.

"The PTA strategically positions Chile to access and to capitalise on the Indian market and its technological assets. This marks a watershed in ties between the two countries as it will impart a new dimension to our trade relations in times to come," Commerce Minister Kamal Nath said.

The agreement, signed by Commerce Secretary SN Menon and Chilean Ambassador Jorge Heine, provides tariff preferences ranging from 10 to 50 per cent on 178 products to Chile and a similar range of preferences on 296 items to India.

It would benefit 98 per cent of items being exported by Chile to India and 91 per cent of the goods being exported by India to Chile.

The Indian products, which would benefit include textiles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, engineering and agricultural machinery while Chilean products include copper, newsprint, iodine, fish meal and salmons.

The two sides have also discussed the draft reports of the Joint Study Group and agreed to submit their findings to consider further action on a Free Trade Agreement.

The PTA is consequent to the signing of a Framework Agreement on Economic Cooperation on January 20, 2005 during the visit of the Chilean President to India.

The Framework Agreement also provided for a Joint Study Group to identify the potential for cooperation in trade in goods and services, investments and other areas.

Chile is a major Latin American country with a GDP of $76.3 billion and a trade of $53.2 billion during 2004.

India-Chile trade during 2004-05 stood at $447 million.

First Published: Mar 08, 2006 20:59 IST