INDIA COMMITTED TO REGIONAL INTEGRATION OF CEPEA: ANAND SHARMA
Date : 26 Aug 2010
Location : New Delhi
Shri Anand Sharma, Commerce and Industry Minister of India met Trade/Commerce Ministers from the ten ASEAN Member States and China, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand (Australia was represented by an Official) gathered at Da Nang, Vietnam today and exchanged views on regional and global issues affecting the East Asian region as well as developments in several areas of cooperation within the East Asia Summit (EAS) framework.
He reiterated India's commitment towards the 16 country regional integration initiative of Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA) and welcomed the formation of four Working Groups to study Economic Cooperation, Rules of Origin, Customs Procedures and Tariff Nomenclature of the region. He announced that India would host the next workshop on Rules of Origin. While discussing the future steps under the CEPEA process, the Minister supported Japan's paper suggesting a procedure and timeline. He also suggested that the ASEAN+6 meetings be structured and formalized.
The Ministers also exchanged views on recent developments in the Doha Development Round in the WTO. Shri Sharma reiterated India's commitment towards a strong multilateral trading system based on economic growth, development and stability. During his meeting with Mr. Masayuki Naoshima, Minister of Economy and Trade and Industry, Japan on the sidelines of the ASEAN Economic Ministers' Meeting (AEM) at Da Nang city Vietnam today, Shri Sharma expressed satisfaction over the progress made during the intersessional meeting held from 16th-19th August in New Delhi to finalize the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two countries. He said that India and Japan were committed to a high quality Agreement that would not only take the bilateral trade and economic relations to a new height but also bring the two great democracies closer in harnessing their full potential for a meaningful strategic partnership in the region.
Both Ministers agreed that the CEPA negotiations are currently at an advance stage and the negotiating teams are working hard to give it a final shape. The chief negotiators are scheduled to meet in Tokyo on 9th September 2010 to explore the possibility of an 'in principle agreement'. They hoped that the 'in principle' agreement will happen and the two sides will complete necessary formalities to get ready for the Agreement to be signed during Indian Prime minister's visit to Tokyo in October 2010.