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First round of negotiations on CEPA concludes

Feb '07
The First Round of negotiations on India-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) concluded here with both sides agreeing on the terms of reference for future negotiations. Four Working Groups were set up viz., Trade in Goods, Trade in Services, Investment and Bilateral Cooperation and preliminary discussions were held on the same.

The Japanese delegation was led by Mr. Masaharu Kohno, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, and the Indian side was led by Shri G.K. Pillai, Commerce Secretary, in these negotiations. The second round of negotiations will be held during April 2007 in Tokyo.

The working level meetings were co-chaired by Mr. Sumio Kusaka, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the Japanese side and Shri Dinesh Sharma, Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce from the Indian side.

During the visit of Prime Minister Koizumi of Japan to India in April 2005, the Prime Ministers of the two countries directed that the India-Japan Joint Study Group (JSG) be launched by June 2005 and submit its report within a year. The JSG had recommended that the two countries launch inter-governmental negotiations to develop CEPA.

India's exports to Japan in 2005-06 were valued at US $ 2.4 billion while imports stood at US $ 3.5 billion. Major items of Indian exports are gems & jewellery, iron ore, and marine products while major imports from Japan include machinery, electronic goods, iron & steel etc.

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