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Dept of Commerce seeks industry comments on initial offers for tariff elimination under RCEP

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Business Standard | 28 September 2015

Dept of Commerce seeks industry comments on initial offers for tariff elimination under RCEP

The next round of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations to take place in Busan, in South Korea, will see India putting up initial offers for tariff elimination in goods. The country is also expected to see the Free Trade Agreement with Chile by the end of this year, according to an official from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.

Speaking in the sidelines of the Industry Consultation Meeting on RCEP Agreement Negotiations organised by the Department of Commerce under the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Confederation of Indian Industry, Bipin Menon, director of the department said, "We will be putting up the initial offer for goods and then initial offer of services will be exchanged. The intial offers for services has already been submitted and we will be deciding on the services."

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a FTA negotiation that is proposed among 16 countries including the 10 members of ASEAN (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam) and the six countries with which ASEAN has existing Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) - Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, and New Zealand, according to New Zealand Ministry website.

The consultation meeting was organised to take inputs from various industries on the items to be listed for elimination, with adequate reason to do so. It has also sought the views from the industry on the issues such as the interpretation of wholly originating goods.

Answering a query by the industry during the interaction, the official said that the talks for Free Trade Agreement with Chile will see the light probably by the end of the year. The authorities are stuck up on some issues on the Rules of Origin, in which the customs authorities wants the agreement to be stronger in that. The government is negotiating with Chile on this.

 source: Business Standard