New Delhi: Duties on a large share of imports from Japan have been slashed, while doors are thrown open for India's exports to the USD five trillion Japanese market with the comprehensive free trade bilateral pact coming into force on Monday.

Aimed at doubling the bilateral trade to USD 25 billion in three years, the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) will result in 94 per cent of the bilateral tariffs being eliminated within 10 years.

But duties have been removed or slashed on the bulk of items right away, according to the pact, India's first with a developed country.

India has made commitments for liberalisation of its market in telecom, financial and distribution sectors.

While the automobile sector has largely been protected from the cheap Japanese imports, New Delhi has "shown flexibility to the demand of Japanese side for parity with South Korea for items such as diesel engine and gear boxes".

India's free trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea has already come into operation.

Japanese have agreed to collaborate in the exploration of rare earths reserves in India. This is considered one of the key takeaways, in the wake of Chinese stopping supplies globally.

The exporting sectors which would gain, include agricultural products like mangoes, citrus fruit, spices and instant tea, rums,whiskies and vodka, textiles, chemicals, cement and jewellery and pharmaceuticals.

Indian professionals are set to make strong gains. Japan has offered special commitment on entry and temporary stay for Indian instructors of Yoga, Indian cuisine, Indian classical music and dance as also English language.

India has already liberalised its trade through FTAs with Association of Southeast Nations and individual pacts with ASEAN members like Singapore. Negotiations for an FTA with the European Union are in advanced stage.

(Agencies)