Trade pact with Japan: fresh talks in Feb

Trade pact with Japan: fresh talks in Feb

New Delhi: Trade officials of India and Japan will try again in February to resolve some ticklish issues blocking the tariff-breaking bilateral pact.

Commerce ministry officials will engage with their Japanese counterparts to bridge the gap on issues such as recognition of Indian pharmaceutical products by Japan and services.

India is keen on gaining market access through a free trade agreement for the $19 billion (Rs93,100 crore) pharmaceutical industry in Japan, which is one of the major importers in the world.

Indian firms say their products are not recognized by Tokyo in terms of quality and safety standards despite the approval by the US authorities.

India also wants wider reach for its services sector, which the Japanese are a bit circumspect about.

While India’s trade with Japan has more than doubled in the last four years from about $4 in 2003-04 to almost $10 billion in the last fiscal, many products such as oilseeds, dairy products, sugar and sugar products face tariff peaks in Japan.