India To Review Zero-Tariff Concessions On Mobile Phone Imports In ASEAN Trade Agreement Talks

(MENAFN- KNN India) New Delhi, Jul 10 (KNN) In a significant development, India is set to reassess the zero-tariff concessions granted on mobile phone imports during the upcoming review of its free trade agreement (FTA) with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The talks, scheduled for July 29-31 in Jakarta, Indonesia, aim to modernise the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) signed over a decade ago.

A high-ranking delegation led by Rajesh Aggarwal, Additional Secretary, Commerce Ministry, will represent India in these negotiations.

Sources close to the matter, speaking on condition of anonymity, revealed that India intends to finalise the deal before the end of the calendar year.

The review will focus on tariff concessions granted to ASEAN countries, particularly Vietnam, which currently allow zero-tariff imports of mobile phone components.

This move is seen as a potential measure to protect and foster growth in India's domestic industries.

The ATIGA, signed in 2009 and implemented in 2010-2011, proposed tariff elimination for 74.2 per cent of tariff lines and reductions for an additional 14.2 per cent. The remaining 11.6 per cent of tariff lines received no concessions.

While trade between India and ASEAN has grown significantly since the agreement's signing, it heavily favours the ASEAN region.

Between fiscal years 2009 and 2023, India's exports to ASEAN increased by 130.4 per cent, while imports surged by 234.4 per cent.

India's trade with ASEAN is primarily concentrated in five countries including Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The current trade dynamics show that over 50 per cent of India's imports from ASEAN consist of coal, palm oil, and other raw materials.

In contrast, India's exports to the region include refined petroleum products, commercial vehicles, telecommunication equipment, and various agricultural and industrial goods.

Unlike the European Union, ASEAN allows each member country to set its own tariffs under FTAs. India, however, has offered a single tariff schedule applicable to all ASEAN members in these negotiations. Some experts argue that this approach may limit the effectiveness of India's exclusion list.

(KNN Bureau)


KNN India

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