3rd Meeting of the Joint Committee at the Secretary Level under the India-Japan CEPA

The 3rd meeting of the Joint Committee at the Secretary Level under the India-Japan CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) was held on Thursday in New Delhi. The Indian side was led by Smt. Rita Teaotia, Commerce Secretary and the Japanese delegation was headed by Mr. Keiichi Katakami, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Japan. The two sides had extensive discussions on bilateral trade related issues and economic relations.

The Indian side highlight the various issues which need to be addressed by the Japanese side for providing greater market access to Indian Products in Japan, especially items with a high potential, like sesame seeds, marine products and pharmaceuticals. The Indian side also sought recognition of the Indian Organic Standards by Japan. Though there have been an increase in the number of work visas issued by Japan, after the cooperation agreement come into force, the market share of Indian IT Companies in the Japanese IT market is yet considered below potential and ways to improve this were discussed. The decision of Japan to reduce its increasing health care costs on account of its aging population and its decision to switch over to a higher share of generic medicines was seen as a potential opportunity for the Indian Pharma Industry, which is strong in generics.

The Japanese side raised several issues relating to taxation and investment concerns by the Japanese companies who are investing in India.

Both sides agreed for the need for higher cooperation in providing market access to Indian products in Japan and facilitating Japanese investments in India.

The Indian side was headed by Commerce Secretary, Department of Commerce, and represented by Department of Industrial Policy and Planning, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Steel and senior Customs Officials form CBEC.

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