7th round of India – South Korea CEPA negotiations held

The 7th round of India – South Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) negotiations were held inSouth Korea between 11-13 December 2018.

The discussions were positive and subject to Indian sugar industry meeting the quality standards and specifications prescribed by the South Korean Government.

Background:

South Korea imports around 15 lac tones of raw sugar annually and the Indian sugar industry is making efforts to export raw sugar from India during 2018-19 sugar seasons.

India and South Korea will reduce duties on 11 tariff lines in a bid to expand bilateral trade by updating their existing free-trade agreement, called the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

In 2017-18, India exported goods worth $4.4 billion to South Korea while imports from the latter were worth $16.3 billion.

Difference between CECA and CEPA

CECA – Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement

CEPA – Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement

The major “technical” difference between a CECA and CEPA is that CECA involve only “tariff reduction/elimination in a phased manner on listed/all items except the negative list and tariff rate quota (TRQ) items. CEPA also covers the trade in services and investment and other areas of economic partnership”.

So CEPA is a wider term that CECA and has the widest coverage.

Usually, CECA is signed first with a country and after that negotiations may start for a CEPA.

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