ASEAN agreement

Dec 09, 2019, 09.00 PM IST



Mobile companies seek review of duty on parts as imports from Vietnam soar

India has imported mobile phone components worth more than $1 billion from Vietnam — with which India has a free trade agreement (FTA) —in the first half of this fiscal alone, compared to $800 million in the whole of 2018-19 and just over $600 million in FY18, an industry association of companies making handset in India has informed the government.

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India seeks review of FTAs with ASEAN, Japan: Goyal

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that eight rounds of negotiations have b...

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  • "We have already initiated dialogue with ASEAN countries and I am happy to share with the House that ASEAN has agreed for a review of the FTA. We will take up various issues in the review and then we will report to the House," he told the House. He also said the Coffee Board is trying to develop an Indian brand of coffee .

    “The basic intent of anti-dumping measures is to eliminate injury caused to the domestic industry by the unfair trade practice of dumping and to create a level playing field for the domestic industry,” commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal told Lok Sabha. In a separate reply, he said the government will use all available instruments in the national interest, as and when necessary.

    After years of negotiations, India last month pulled out of the proposed RCEP over unresolved "core concerns" at a summit meeting of the participating countries, saying the proposed pact in its current form would have adverse impact on lives and livelihoods of all Indians.

    PM Narendra Modi, while addressing 10 Asean leaders, on Sunday welcomed the decision to have a relook at the free-trade agreement between India and the 10-member grouping. Last month, India and Asean initiated a review of the free-trade agreement in goods to make it “user-friendly, simple and trade facilitative”.

    “The investment will transform availability and quality of infrastructure at airports, roads, highways, railways, ports... All infrastructure-related sectors (aviation, shipping, electricity, and oil & gas) are going to see a huge thrust in the next five years,” Goyal said at an awards ceremony organised by the India Trade Promotion Organisation here.

    The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), comprising the 10-member ASEAN bloc and six other countries -India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand -- is engaged in negotiations for a free-trade pact. PM Modi is in Bangkok on a 3-day visit to attend the annual ASEAN-India Summit, the East Asia Summit and the RCEP Summit.

    India’s utilisation ratio of its current FTA with ASEAN is just about 6%. In contrast, ASEAN countries have a 36.3% utilisation. Also, unlike with Japan and Korea, the investment component is also not quite large.

    PM Modi added that India was clear that a mutually beneficial RCEP was in its interests and those of all partners in the negotiations. India has long pushed for other countries to allow greater movement of labor and services in return for opening its market of more than 1 billion people to certain goods.

    Government was taking efforts to ensure more regulatory mechanism in the banking sector to benefit bank account-holders, she said in the context of the PMC Bank and IL&FS issues. India took the call not to the join RCEP despite spending considerable amount of time on the negotiating table, she said addressing the 6th G Ramachandran Memorial Lecture.

    To protect the domestic cashew industry, this council had requested the Government to ban import of all type of finished and semi - finished cashew kernels including de-shelled category and to limit the export incentives to products that has undergone transformation in India .

    "President Trump has invited President Xi to the United States if we are able to get that deal to sign phase one trade agreement. I think we're relatively close to an agreement, a phase one agreement on trade that would make trade fairer and freer and more reciprocal between the US and China," US National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien said.

    Piyush Goyal in a written reply to the House said that during the third RCEP Leaders Summit on November 4 in Bangkok, India stated that the current structure did not reflect its guiding principles or address the outstanding issues and concerns of India, in the light of which India did not join the agreement.

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