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India-Japan FTA implementation needs to be expedited: Sitharaman


New Delhi, Jan 10 (IANS) Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the pace of implementation of the India-Japan free trade agreement needs to be stepped up further, an official statement here said.

"She (Sitharaman) stated that the pace of implementation of India-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) has been rather steady and needed to be enhanced with faster pace to tap the huge potential of India-Japan bilateral trade," the Indian Commerce Ministry statement said, following a meeting here on Monday between Sitharaman and Japanese Economy and Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko.

Concurring with Sitharaman’s view on the huge potential for expanding Indo-Japanese cooperation, Seko said that 25 Japanese companies are participating in the ongoing Vibrant Gujarat investors summit, it added.

According to the statement, the Japanese side requested that the issue of transfer pricing assessment and other ones, as raised periodically by Japan Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India, need to be resolved to attract greater Japanese investment into India.

Expressing interest in enhancing cooperation with India on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), the Japanese delegation offered to train Indian IPR examiners in Japan, it said, adding that Seko also extended an invitation to 100 IPR Examiners for training in Japan.

On her part, Sitharaman requested the Japanese side to take steps to increase Indian exports to Japan of sesame seeds, Surimi fish and generic drugs.

"She said that the Japanese Industrial Townships (JITs) in India would be transformational and will bring in significant Japanese investments and further strengthen India-Japan economic cooperation," the Commerce Ministry said.

Sitharaman also mentioned that India plans to build a Logistics University, for which Japan’s cooperation would be required.

Earlier on Monday, Seko met union Power Minister Piyush Goyal here and they jointly inaugurated the 7th India-Japan Energy Forum.

Speaking on the occasion, Goyal pointed to the history of technical cooperation between the two nations, from the Maruti Suzuki automobiles to the Shinkasen bullet train, the formal agreement for which was signed in November 2016.

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