India-South America trade deal to be expanded

Brasilia, Sep 4 (Calcutta Tube) India’s Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia said here Thursday that India and a trade bloc of South American countries have agreed to expand a trade agreement.

‘Teams from both sides have met and we pledged to develop a list of new products to be included in the agreement in November this year,’ Scindia said after an India-Brazil business meeting in Sao Paulo.

The trade bloc in South America, Mercosur, comprises Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. It was formed in 1991 with the objective of facilitating free movement of goods, services, capital and people among the four member countries.

A framework agreement was signed between India and Mercosur in June 2003 in Paraguay for trade between the two parties in conformity with the rules of the World Trade Organisation.

Scindia said the Agreement on Fixed Tariff Preferences between India and Mercosur, which came into force in 2009 and covers import-export of 452 products, will gradually be expanded to include new products with special taxation, Xinhua reported.

Trade volume between Mercosur and India should reach around $17 billion in 2012 and $30 billion in 2030, he said.

Roberto Giannetti, director of the Department of International Relations of the Federation of Industries of Sao Paulo, said the agreement would be beneficial to Brazil.

‘We’re very interested in a Mercosur-India free trade agreement. Brazil needs investments to be made in several areas and may also collaborate with India, especially in the supply of food and energy,’ he said.

Brazil-India trade increased from $1 billion in 2003 to $4.7 billion in 2008.

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