Indo Japan trade to touch 15 billion dollars by 2010

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New Delhi, Mar 9 (UNI) The level of bilateral trade between India and Japan is all set to get a boost with new areas of trade in services, higher investment flows promoting more people-to-people contact, speedy resolution of Trade Facilitation and Non-tariff Barrier (NTB) issues.

Bilateral trade between the two countries can reach 15 billion dollars by 2010 from 7.5 billion dollars in 2006-07, according to a study by an industry body.

Although import duties on most goods in Japan are already low at present, the India-Japan CEPA can raise the level of India's exports to Japan according to the study titled- 'India-Japan CEPA Negotiations: A CII Perspective.' The study by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) calls for greater focus on agricultural exports to Japan, since Japan's self-sufficiency rate in food production is about 40 per cent.

The share of agricultural items in India's exports to Japan has seen a decline by about 22 per cent in the last 10 years, although the processed food exports increased by 4 per cent during this period.

Currently major Indian exports to Japan like agricultural goods, pharmaceuticals, chemicals face various NTB's.

According to the study Indian exporters in Japan face language barriers in terms of understanding guidelines/regulations, which are mostly in Japanese language.

On services trade the study call's for relaxation of visa norms especially for Indian medical/Para-medical workers and engineers.

Japan has liberalised entry of nurses to Philippines and Indonesia as part of its free trade deals.

The body wants liberalisation of trade in services within Mode-IV (cross-border movement of professionals) in the India-Japan CEPA.

On the Investment front it expects greater investment flows from Japan once the CEPA is operational.

In the area of technology goods trade, the study said that while these goods are sensitive from the security perspective, it should not become the basis for denial of these goods to genuine Indian buyers.

It also calls for Validated End User (VEU) certificate from Japanese Government on the lines of the US Government policy for the Indian buyers.

The CEPA negotiations bet ween the two countries started in January 2007 and five rounds of negotiations have taken place up till now. The next Round will take place in Tokyo later this month.

The bilateral trade has more than doubled since 2002-03 and currently stands at close to 7.5 billion dollars (2006-07) with the trade balance in favour of Japan, the study added.

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