India Considers Possible Free Trade Agreement with Turkey

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Sept. 10 – The Indian government is exploring the possibility of a duty-free trade agreement between India and Turkey.

The Financial Express reports that India’s Commerce minister Anand Sharma confirmed that a panel will look into a trade agreement between the two countries during a meeting of India-Turkey Joint Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation in Ankara.

A Joint Study Group will study the benefits of bilateral trade in terms of goods and services, and investment prospects. India and Turkey have many possible avenues of cooperation including contracting and consultancy, tourism, science and technology, energy, transportation and leather.

India has been actively pursuing trade deals, the most recent is a FTA with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and South Korea. Currently, more than one dozen free trade pacts are being worked out.

For 2008-2009, bilateral trade was affected by the world economic crisis. India exported US$ 1.38 billion worth of goods to Turkey, a decrease of 21 percent. On the other hand, India imported US$ 1.44 billion, worth of goods to Turkey, 14.5 percent lower than the previous year.

Top Indian exports to Turkey include cotton, yarn, machinery, drugs, transport equipment and chemicals. India mainly imports machinery, iron and steel, ores and metal scrap, and  inorganic and organic chemicals from Turkey.