India & Japan Signed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)
India and Japan signed the bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in Tokyo on 16 February 2011
India and Japan signed the bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in Tokyo on 16 February 2011 in the presence of Commerce and Industry Minister Minister Anand Sharma held and Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara. A two-way trade target of $25 billion by 2014 was proposed. The new two-way trade target is a double of the pre-CEPA level figure.
India's existing policy on foreign investments was the norm adopted in this CEPA. New Delhi went by its national laws in honouring its commitment to intellectual property rights in CEPA.
CEPA is being defined as India's most ambitious economic pact so far. CEPA will ensure opening up and strengthening of the Japanese market for Indian textiles, petrochemicals, chemical products, jewellery and cement. Also greater access to Japan would be made available for Indian contractual suppliers, accountants, researchers, tourist guides, management consultants, computer scientists and engineers. Zero import duty will be levied on products like mobile phones, calculators, battery chargers, CDs and DVDs from Japan and textiles from India from the day the agreement is implemented. Japan would also lower tariffs on petrochemicals, chemical products, jewellery and cement. Japan would also extend its own national treatment in respect of Indian generic medicines.
India will eliminate tariffs on 90% of its goods and Japan on 95% over ten years while movement of professionals between the countries will become much smoother once the CEPA is ratified by the Japanese Parliament.
In the services sector, India has been given concessions, including commitments for providing greater access for contractual suppliers, professionals such as accountants, researchers, tourist guides and management consultants.
India and Japan also agreed to simplify visa regime for instructors for yoga practitioners, classical musical and dance practitioners, chefs and English language teachers.
The pact between India and Japan ensured that the sensitive sectors for India including agriculture, fruits, spices, wheat, basmati rice, edible oils, wines and spirits and also certain categories of industrial products such as auto and auto parts are fully protected.
The Agreement also envisages the conclusion of a social security agreement within three years and the negotiations for the same started in January 2011.