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Ratify double taxation pact, India asks Colombia

The issue was raised by Scindia in a delegation-level talks with de Hart.

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India has asked to expedite ratification of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) to build investors confidence on both sides.

On their part, Columbian Vice Minister of Carlos de Hart told visiting Minister for State for Commerce and Industry that he expects his country's Parliament to ratify DTAA by this year end, according to an official release.

The issue was raised by Scindia in a delegation-level talks with de Hart.

The Columbian minister said enhancing economic engagement with India is a priority of the Colombian government.

Hart appreciated the contributions being made by Indian companies in Colombian economy.

Scindia was leading a delegation of officials, CEOs and other business delegates from India to Bogota, Colombia from July 6-7.

In his meeting, Scindia also raised the issues being faced by Indian companies in Colombia, particularly in petroleum and IT sector, and requested the Colombian side for there early resolution.

He mentioned about delay in granting environment clearance by Colombian authorities to ONGC Videsh Ltd and suggested that such delay, if unavoidable, must result in automatic extension of the block exploration period.

The limit of 10% on employment of foreign professionals in IT sector in Columbia was also raised.

Scindia urged the Colombian said to consider relaxation in this rule to encourage Indian IT companies to operate in Colombia.

During talks, both sides expressed satisfaction that considerable substance and contents had been added to bilateral relations during the last 5 years and reiterated their mutual desire to further strengthen the existing trade and investment relations and all-round bilateral cooperation.

However, both leaders agreed that the current level of trade and investment is well below the potential and that calls for focused efforts by the two countries.

They also agreed on the need to widen the trade basket.

Recently enforced Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) between the two countries which came into effect on June 25, 2012 was welcomed by both the leaders.

Scindia, in particular, mentioned about complementariness between the Indian and Colombian economy which needs to be exploited for mutual benefit.

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