NEW DELHI: Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said steps have been taken to sort out the implementation issues related to Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and improve bilateral trade as well as trade balance with Japan as it is the closest and most reliable trade partner.
Speaking at a seminar on promoting India’s exports to Japan under India-Japan CEPA and release of RIS report on India-Japan CEPA here, she said India recognises that Japan will play an increasingly important role in India›s economic transformation and development.
Sitharaman said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Japan in 2014 and it was occasioned by the elevation of our bilateral partnership to the status of special strategic and global partnership. India-Japan partnership has expanded over the past few years and now the identified complementaries are being harnessed through trade and investments to our mutual advantage.”
The Minister said the CEPA between India and Japan came into force on August 1, 2011 and is one of the most comprehensive agreements concluded by India. She said bilateral trade between India and Japan pre-CEPA in 2010 was 10.4 billion dollar and currently in 2016 stands at 14.5 billion dollar.
However, trade deficit of India with respect to Japan has also increased from 3.1 billion dollar pre CEPA to 5.2 billion dollar post CEPA.
The Minister said, “Our concern is the increasing trade deficit. We must look at ways and means to address this skewed trade. We feel that one of the best ways to address this concern is to increase our exports to Japan.”