Summary of the First Round of Negotiations on the Japan-India Economic Partnership Agreement
February 7, 2007
- The First Round of Negotiations on the Japan-India Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) was held from January 31 (Wed) to February 2 (Fri) at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi, India.
- In this Round, Mr. Masaharu Kono, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, and officials from relevant ministries and agencies of Japan, and Mr. G. K. Pillai, Commerce Secretary of the Department of Commerce, and officials from relevant ministries of India participated.
- Both sides decided to adopt the Terms of Reference for the EPA negotiations as follows:
(1) Basic Principles
Both sides confirmed that:
- it is aimed to achieve comprehensive and high-level liberalization of trade in goods and services and investment;
- both sides will conduct the negotiations constructively, positively and flexibly, recognizing the existence of sensitive issues; and
- both sides will endeavor to complete the negotiations in substance as soon as possible and within approximately two years.
(2) Scope of Negotiations
Both sides decided to take up such areas as trade in goods (market access, rules of origin, general rules, and customs procedures), investment, trade in services, intellectual property, improvement of business environment, cooperation, and other areas.
(3) Negotiation Structure
The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Japan, and the Commerce Secretary India, will be the Chief Delegates and supervise the Working-level meetings (co-chaired on the Japanese side by Director-General-level participants from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as coordinator, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and on the Indian side by the Secretary of the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry), and the Expert-level meetings. In principle, negotiations will be held once every two months alternately in Japan and in India.
- An initial exchange of views on such areas as market access of trade in goods, investment, trade in services, and cooperation was carried out at the Expert-level.
- The Second Round of negotiations will be held in Tokyo in April; the details of its schedule will be determined through diplomatic channels.
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