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Chile keen to sign PTA with India to boost trade volume

The Hindu, India

21 September 2004

Chile keen to sign PTA with India to boost trade volume

Kolkata, Sept. 21 (PTI): Chile, the fastest growing economy in Latin America, has said it was keen to sign preferential trade agreement with India to increase the bilateral trade volume which stood at a meagre 230 million dollars in 2003.

"We are looking at signing the PTA that has recently been mooted. We expect the agreement to be finalised by January, next year," Chilean Ambassador Dr Jorge Heine said here.

Asserting that the PTA, once signed, would bring in significant benefit for both the countries in enhancing trade ties, he said "we have already submitted the proposed list of products to be included under the agreement".

While Chile has enlisted 800 products, India proposed a list of 300 items to be included under PTA, he said adding the first dialogue between the two countries would be held in New Delhi in October.

"It is not going to a full fledged agreement since the number of products proposed in the list is quite modest. But I think it will help increase the trade flow from both directions," he said.

Expressing confidence that the agreement would come into effect soon, the Ambassador said that it might be signed during the first visit of Chilean President Ricardo Lagos, to India in January, 2005.

Noting that there were apprehensions in some quarters about the benefit of such trade agreements, he said, "Chile has Free Trade Agreements with as many as 38 countries. We can tell you that it has been a very positive experience for us".