India reports market access issues in Korea at trade ministers’ meeting

India on Tuesday reported the market access problems facing domestic players in several sectors such as steel, engineering and agricultural products in Korea and called for redress in a bid to strengthen bilateral trade relations. , said an official.

The issue was raised during the meeting between Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and Korean Minister of Commerce Yeo Han-koo. Some industry groups believe that due to some strict regulatory issues in Korea, there are market access challenges for Indian products.

“These barriers must be lifted and some concessions must be made on both sides,” the official said. Among the products facing market access problems in Korea are beef, grapes, pomegranate, okra and eggplants. The Indian side also expressed concerns about the widening trade deficit with Korea.

The deficit fell from $ 5 billion in 2008-09 to $ 8 billion in 2020-21. The two countries implemented the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), a kind of free trade pact, in January 2010. Bilateral trade between the countries amounted to $ 17.5 billion in 2020- 2021.

The trade is in favor of Korea. In the last fiscal year, Indian imports amounted to USD 128 billion while exports were only USD 4.7 billion.

During the meeting, India solicited investments from Korean companies in sectors such as semiconductors, chemical batteries for electric vehicles and technical textiles. India’s share in total steel exports to the Republic of Korea is extremely low, averaging 0.04 MMT per year over the past five years.

According to industry experts, Korean steel companies prefer to do business with companies with which they have previous trading experience and these elements constitute an implicit barrier to entering the Korean steel market.

Likewise, in the case of rice, Korea introduced the Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) agreement for the import of rice from January 2020, under which 3,88,700 tonnes are allocated to its top five importing partners – China, United States, Vietnam, Thailand and Australia. And, as a result, only 20,000 tons are left for all the other countries in the world, including India. Indian textile exporters face the problem of Korean certification mark. This mark is required on textile / clothing items (including footwear and leather products) to be imported or sold in Korea. Complaints have also been received from Indian exporters of engineered products about local certification requirements from a Korean agency, which is a lengthy process and takes an average of 27-28 weeks.

At the same time, a joint press release issued after the trade ministers’ meeting said the two sides agreed to give new impetus to the discussions on CEPA upgrade negotiations and also promote many interactions. business-to-business on trade and investment between industry. leaders of both countries.

“The two ministers agreed … to resolve the difficulties expressed by the industry on both sides and requested their respective negotiating teams to meet regularly in order to conclude negotiations on the CEPA upgrade as soon as possible. (and) within a reasonable time. “Linked way,” he said. They hope to achieve the goal of $ 50 billion in trade by 2030, he added.

(This story was not edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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