Hanoi: Bilateral trade between India and Japan is likely to get a boost after their comprehensive market-opening pact comes into effect. 

Bilateral trade and strategic ties between the countries came up for discussion during a meeting between India's Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, and Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda here on Thursday. The two ministers were in Hanoi for the annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank.

The two countries had signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in February. However, the agreement is yet to be implemented pending ratification by the Japanese Parliament.

"... As a result of coming into force of CEPA, bilateral trade is likely to increase substantially, as has happened in the case of South Korea, where after coming into force of CEPA, bilateral trade during the first year increased by more than 40 per cent," an official said after the meeting of the two ministers.

While Japan would get entry to a vast Indian market for its products, Indian professionals would be able to provide their services in Japan, he said.

Under CEPA, the two major Asian economies had committed to eliminate import duties on 94 per cent of their trade in 10 years.

Indian pharmaceutical companies will get treatment similar to Japanese firms in the matter of registration and release of generic medicine in that market.

India expects that the comprehensive trade pact covering goods, services and investments would help double bilateral commerce to USD 25 billion by 2015.

India also supports the Japanese initiative for a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement in East Asia (CEPEA), which aims at building a more inclusive trade alliance in East Asia.

Both the ministers also emphasised on early and successful conclusion of the Doha Round of WTO talks for a multilateral trade deal.

Currently, bilateral trade between the nations stands at USD 15 billion. Japan ranks sixth in the world in terms of foreign direct investment inflows into India and accounts for 3.62 percent of the total FDI inflows into India.

 

(Agencies)