Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Mar 11, 2006


Group Sites

Industry & Economy - Foreign Trade

Chile wants wine to be included in PTA

M. Ramesh

The agreement, at present, cuts tariffs on 600 items

Chennai , March 10

Wine, a product which Chile takes pride in exporting, does not figure in the list of items allowed by India for imports from the South American country under the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) signed between the two on Wednesday.

India imposes a duty of around 200 per cent on imported wine and Chileans, who believe their wine is as good as the French, if not better, are keen on tapping the Indian market.

"I would very much like to have wine included, but this (PTA) is only the first step," the Ambassador of Chile in India, Mr Jorge Heine, who signed the agreement on behalf of Chile, told Business Line in response to a question.

Toast to ties

Wine or not, the PTA that cuts tariff on some 600 items, does raise a toast to the growing economic relationship between the two countries. The significance of the PTA lies not in duty cuts, but what it is expected to lead to. Chile anyway has a very low peak customs rate — 6 per cent — and duty cuts from this level is only but a small benefit. The agreement is expected to mature into a fuller Free Trade Agreement and become a signpost for other Latin American countries, and over time blossom into a comprehensive relationship, sweeping investments and defence co-operation.

Defence ties

Last year, Chile sent the chiefs of all the three services to visit India. The Indian Defence Minister also has visited Chile. Both the countries are expected to put a `Defence attache' in their respective embassies, to take the matters further.

Chile is keen on buying helicopters and naval equipment from India, sources in the Ministry of External Affairs say.

Chile is the first country in Latin America that India has signed a PTA with. (Last year, India did sign a PTA Mercusor — a trade block comprising Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay — but it yet to come into force because some countries of Mercusor are yet to ratify the same.)

Incidentally, Chile is the country with the highest number of free trade agreements — it has signed pacts with over 40 other nations. Last year, this country of 15 million people, exported $40 billion worth of goods, more than half of India's exports. Composition of exports has also changed. Once upon a time, 85 per cent of its exports used to be of copper, now the metal accounts for only 35 per cent.

Chile is also advanced in agriculture, with better technology for quality control and sanitation. With a view to tapping this, the Indian Minister for Agriculture is expected to visit Chile shortly.

Moreover, Chile (like Argentina) allows foreigners to buy lands. There are vast tracts of forestlands in Chile which Indian companies could buy and bring back forest produce. The Chinese are understood to be doing this in a large measure.

More Stories on : Foreign Trade | Breweries

Article E-Mail :: Comment :: Syndication :: Printer Friendly Page

Stories in this Section
16 cos call on IIMB for placements

Westerly trough sets up 2nd perch over Haryana
IMC Quality award for Rahul Bajaj
Ultra Group eyes Rs 20 cr from DVD films segment
`India can be made manufacturing hub'
Chile wants wine to be included in PTA
German State of Saarland keen to expand ties
Increase in kidney failures `alarming'
Govt okays HOCL, HAL, CCI revival packages
Gas output from KG Basin blocks to begin by June: Raha
Crude oil imports pegged at 110 mt
ONGC postpones coal bed methane production
Oil India, IOC to buy 90 pc stake in African block
GAIL not to levy marketing margins on gas sale
PFC invites EoIs for project in Karnataka
`Limited taxation powers hit Kerala development model'
`12 pc service tax on air travel will hit revenue'
Husys unveils HR support for SMEs
Tyre manufacturers to import 25,000 t rubber
Scotch Whisky body to press for scaling down import tariffs
Varanasi test
Roll out CAS in metros: HC
`Sell the sizzle, not the steak'
`Bet on transparency, better governance'
ICSI plans to revamp syllabus
Textile plea for job scheme
`SSIs must look for growth in water-based paints'
Youth friendly
Tea production up a tad, exports decline
Panel on duty drawback rates
Ayurveda expo
The final act?
`Product duplication prevalent in every industry'

The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2006, The Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu Business Line