India looks to expand its share of bilateral trade with MERCOSUR
India has pushed forward its consideration to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) of expanding the number of goods traded between India and MERCOSUR, a trading bloc comprising Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, in order to cover a large part of bilateral trade. “The representative of India said that parties to the agreement have agreed on the need to “significantly increase” the number of tariff lines so that it covers a sizeable portion of bilateral trade,” WTO said in an announcement. According to WTO Secretariat, the India-MERCOSUR trade agreement, which is considered to be the initial step towards creating a free trade area among the member countries, commenced in 2009 and covers more than 450 tariff lines for the two parties each. Venezuela, also a MERCOSUR member is currently not a party to the agreement. “The latest exchange of request lists to expand the deal's coverage — undertaken in 2013 — is still under review by all sides, said Indian and Uruguayan representatives speaking on behalf of MERCOSUR,” WTO revealed. Several members of the WTO have raised doubts about India-MERCOSUR at the meeting and also questioned the limited coverage of the agreement. Questions regarding, “whether more members would be included in the deal, how mutual recognition of measures for food safety and animal and plant health is implemented, and when pending submissions for the parties' non-notified agreements would be ready,” were raised. In March this year, the WTO’s Committee on Trade and Development had held a meeting to discuss goods agreement between India and MERCOSUR (the Southern Common Market).
March 23, 2016 | 04:10pm IST