New Delhi: India has asked Indonesia to remove non-tariff barriers on imports of pharmaceutical products to help boost two-way commerce.
In a meeting with Indonesian Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu on Thursday, 17 January, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath said Indonesia would benefit from India’s cost-effective drugs and other pharmaceutical products.
“Indian pharmaceutical products are exported to many countries, including highly regulated markets of the US, Europe, Japan and Australia,” an official release quoted Nath as saying.
The issue of removing non-tariff barriers on carbon black, wheat flour, uncoated writing, printing paper and milk products was also discussed during the meeting.
Trade between India and Indonesia in 2006-07 stood at $6.20 billion, a jump of 41.22% over the previous year. India imported goods worth $4.17 billion and exported items valued at $2.03 billion.
A joint study on an economic cooperation agreement between the two countries is to be completed by June this year.
The second meeting of a Joint Study Group (JSG) formed for the purpose is proposed to be held in New Delhi in February.
Nath said there was a lot of scope for widening the trade basket, particularly in the services sector.
He said Indian banks were interested in buying stakes in financial institutions in Indonesia, and also invited investments from Indonesia in the country’s banking sector.
State Bank of India and Bank of India have already started operations there.