It has been confirmed that the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between Japan and India, which was signed on February 16 this year in Tokyo, entered into force on August 1, after completion of the necessary legal procedures in both countries.

The first meeting of the Joint Committee established under the CEPA was held on the same date in New Delhi. It made decisions necessary for CEPA's implementation.

The agreement, negotiations for which took four years, will eliminate or reduce about 94% of tariffs on the countries’ bilateral trade over a ten-year period. It is hoped that it will provide a ten-fold increase to the countries’ bilateral trade, which has fallen to only the equivalent of around USD10bn.

The CEPA concentrates on the textiles, auto parts, pharmaceuticals and service sectors. Sensitive agricultural products, such as rice and wheat, the tariffs on which remain high to allay the fears of Japan’s highly-protected farmers, have been excluded from the agreement.

While promoting the liberalization of trade in goods and services, the agreement also facilitates investment between Japan and India, and enhances their bilateral economic partnership, as well as strengthening cooperation in various areas including the movement of natural persons and intellectual property.

August 4, 2011

Source: Tax News