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FICCI holds consultations on FTA

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TRADE DISCUSSION: Rafeeque Ahmed, chairman, FICCI, Tamil Nadu State Council (left); P.R.V. Ramanan, chairman, Expert Group on Preferential Rules of Origin, Union Ministry of Commerce; and P. Murari, advisor to the FICCI president, at a seminar in Chennai on Wednesday.
TRADE DISCUSSION: Rafeeque Ahmed, chairman, FICCI, Tamil Nadu State Council (left); P.R.V. Ramanan, chairman, Expert Group on Preferential Rules of Origin, Union Ministry of Commerce; and P. Murari, advisor to the FICCI president, at a seminar in Chennai on Wednesday.

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu State Council of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on Wednesday held consultations with industry representatives on the ongoing Indo-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations.

P.R.V. Ramanan, chairman of the expert group on Preferential Rules of Origin, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and R.S. Ratna, Director, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, will collate the feedback from industrialists and chambers of commerce on the issues of the Rules of Origin and place it before the Ministry for being taken up at the talks.

Talks delayed

Addressing the members, Mr. Ramanan said the talks started in 2006 and were to have concluded by the end of 2007, but there was a delay. Later, steps would be taken for moving towards the implementation of the Comprehensive Economic Co-operation Agreement (CECA).

Before that, he said, the Rules of Origin (ROO) criteria had to be laid down. The rules would determine the nationality of a product in two-way trade, helping Customs officials decide the tariff.

Korea tabled a proposal for including around 1,500 items under Product Specific Rules. But, India wanted to offer only 500 items. “We are trying to minimise PSR and cover all items under the Rules of Origin,” he said.

P. Murari, advisor to the FICCI president, said that in the past five years, the trade between India and Korea grew by 37 per cent, and India had a trade deficit.

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