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India, Iran may hold next round of talks for trade agreement in May

According to trade experts, the proposed agreement will give India a greater market access in the Persian Gulf nation

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Senior officials of and are likely to hold fifth round of negotiations for a bilateral preferential (PTA) here this month, an said.

Till now, four rounds of negotiations have been completed and the last one was held in March in where both countries discussed draft text of the pact.

"Both sides have tentatively agreed to hold the fifth round of talks here this month," the added.

Unlike in a free trade pact, where two trading partners significantly reduce or eliminate duties on maximum number of goods traded between them, PTA involves removal of duties on certain identified products.

"The PTA may not help in bypassing trade sanctions being imposed by the US on Iran, but in the long run, is an important market for Indian exporters," Biswajit Dhar, a at Jawaharlal Nehru University, said.

(TPCI) said the PTA is important as India will be able to diversify its export basket which is now limited to agri products.

"With a carefully designed PTA, strategic products such as leather, textiles and ready made garments, which attract very high duties in can become naturally competitive and India will be able to leverage its export strengths," he said.

(FIEO) said Iran holds huge export opportunities in sectors such as agriculture, chemicals, machinery, pharmaceuticals, paper and paper products, man-made fibre and filament yarn and essential oils.

"The PTA will help India in its long run to increase exports," FIEO DG said.

Iran's major exports to India are oil, fertilisers and while imports include cereals, tea, coffee, spices and

India's exports to the nation in 2017-18 were worth USD 2.65 billion, while imports were valued at USD 11.11 billion. The trade imbalance is mainly because of India's import of from Iran.

India, the world's third-biggest consumer, meets more than 80 per cent of its needs through imports. Iran in 2017-18 was its third-largest supplier after and and meets about 10 per cent of the total needs.

First Published: Wed, May 01 2019. 14:12 IST
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