India hopes to commence EEU-FTA negotiations early next year

India hopes to commence EEU-FTA negotiations early next year

India and Kazakhstan agreed that conclusion of negotiations on FTA would boost trade

The Dollar Business Bureau 

Expressing satisfaction on the progress made in India- Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) free trade agreement, India and Kazakhstan on Friday hoped that the process of obtaining internal clearances would be completed by December-end, thereby paving the way for the commencement of formal trade negotiations in early 2017.

India and Kazakhstan agreed that early commencement and conclusion of formal negotiations on FTA would serve to boost bilateral trade.

The two sides also discussed the current state and prospects of development of Indian - Kazakh economic and trade cooperation, while also exchanging views on the possibilities of expanding bilateral cooperation.

The two countries held India - Kazakhstan joint working group on trade & economic cooperation in New Delhi on December 22-23, and agreed that an efficient and effective border crossing procedure and multi- modal transportation arrangement would provide further impetus to bilateral trade.

During the summit, Kazakhstan also informed that the "Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran" railway, the eastern branch of the International North-South Transport Corridor, has already transported 2.5 thousand tonnes of cargo through this route.

“Indian shippers and freight forwarders were requested to make extensive use of this transportation facility for bilateral trade. Both Sides agreed that since all members of INSTC, except India and Oman, were already signatories to TIR Convention 1975, Customs issues & Common Documentation issues could be quickly resolved if India signed the TIR Convention and aligned its system,” Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a statement.

Highlighting Kazakhstan’s phosphorus pentasulfide and its derivatives industry, the Kazakh side also expressed interest in establishing cooperation with leading Indian companies and sought further development of bilateral cooperation in the exploration and development of tungsten mines. Kazakhstan also hoped that the agreement between National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) and Kazgeology and between NMDC and Kaznex Invest could be concluded in the first quarter of 2017.

India also expressed satisfaction with a two-year extension to the exploration contract of OVL that Kazakhstan granted in June 2016.

India and Kazakhstan also agreed that there was potential for promoting investments in oil and gas, civil nuclear energy, uranium, chemicals, food processing, public health, pharmaceuticals, information technology, and mining and metals.

The also underlined the need to augment connectivity and information exchange dissemination and promote cooperation in the service sector.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Dec 24, 2016 12:00 IST