Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Commerce & Industry
30-August-2012 18:17 IST
Anand Sharma Meets Japanese Counterpart
Asean Plus FTA Partners Discuss Roadmap for Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
Shri Anand Sharma, Union Minister of Commerce, Industry & Textiles today met Mr Yukio Edano, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan on the sidelines of 44th ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) meeting and related meetings at Siem Reap, Cambodia. The issues of Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project and the preliminary study for the Chennai-Bangalore Industrial Corridor were discussed. Shri Sharma briefed his counterpart on the National Investment & Manufacturing Zones and sought Japan’s support for creating the infrastructure in the notified zones. The modalities of release of fund of USD 4.5 billion were also deliberated upon. The Japanese concern on relaxation of capital regulations was also discussed and Shri Sharma conveyed the significant progress made on the issue. Both the leaders took note of the growing bilateral trade and hoped to achieve trade target of USD 25 billion by 2015. Japan thanked India for support in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

The Indian Minister also attended ASEAN plus FTA Partners Consultations. After detailed deliberations it was decided to recommend the guiding principles and objectives for negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) for considerations of leaders during the East Asia Summit in November 2012. RCEP envisages comprehensive economic cooperation amongst ASEAN member states and FTA partners. The roadmap to RCEP negotiations and guiding approaches for the organization of negotiations were also discussed during the meeting. The meeting took note of the progress in the RCEP working groups. Shri Sharma requested for expeditious work in the working groups on trade in services and investments to ensure finalization of templates and modalities before launching the RCEP as a single undertaking.

Minister Sharma attended the East Asia Summit (EAS) Economic Ministers Meeting. Updates of Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) activities and current regional and global developments were discussed during the meeting. Shri Sharma called upon all the members for early conclusion of Doha Round of negotiations in WTO. He explained that early conclusion of Doha Round would greatly assist in bringing out the world economy out of recession and will help in a balanced economic development across the world.

Shri Sharma also had a bilateral meeting with South Korean Trade Minister Mr Bark Tae Ho. Issues of Korean investments in India, bilateral trade and national manufacturing policy of India were discussed. Shri Sharma requested his counterpart to explore the possibilities of investment in infrastructure projects in India and assured all necessary support for the same. Shri Sharma also invited Korea to participate in establishment of electronics hardware industry in India, particularly Chip manufacturing units. The details of the proposed visit of Shri Sharma to Korea in November 2012 were also discussed. Shri Sharma informed Korean Minister that he would come with a high level business delegation and officials dealing with certification of export of agricultural products.

The Indian Minister also had bilateral meeting with his counterpart from Cambodia in the evening and discussed various issues of mutual interest. There is considerable potential to increase bilateral trade and investment between both countries. Shri Sharma expressed India’s willingness to assist Cambodia in the fields of agro-processing, textiles, silk and skill-development.