Indian sugar industry holds talk with South Korea

Delegation of Indian Sugar industry held talks with top representatives of all three sugar refineries in South Korea during seventh round of India-South Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) to pursue the matter of exports of sweetener to the country. The negotiations were held in South Korea between December 11 and 13.

South Korea imports around 15 lakh tonnes of raw sugar annually and Indian sugar industry is planning to export raw sugar from India during 2018-19 sugar season.

The discussions were positive, and subject to Indian sugar industry meeting quality standards and specifications prescribed by the South Korean government. The Indian sugar industry will undertake further discussions and talks with the Sugar refineries in South Korea to pursue the matter further so that sugar can be exported from India to South Korea.

India and South Korea are negotiating to upgrade the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) implemented by the two in 2010 envisaging tariff elimination/reduction in about 80 per cent of goods such as textiles, leather goods and, pharmaceuticals, opening up of sectors such as tourism and healthcare and freer movement of persons.

Both sides signed an early harvest programme in July with South Korea agreeing to eliminate tariffs on 17 more Indian products and India reciprocating by bringing down duties on 11 items. To make it easier for professionals to move from one country to the other, EHP also increased the visa duration for ICT employees to three years from one year.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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