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‘Afghanistan to benefit from zero import duty’

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Country to become 8th member of SAFTA from Feb

The Hindu Business Line
November 22, 2007

New Delhi, Nov 21 Afghanistan’s economic engagement with India will receive a major boost from February when the nation becomes the eighth member of SAFTA.

As a member of SAFTA, Afghanistan will receive the benefit zero import duty by India on 4,536 tariff lines, Mr Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Commerce, said here on Wednesday.

Speaking at a seminar on ‘Doing business with Afghanistan’ organised by the FICCI along with the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) and USAID, he said currently under the preferential trade arrangement with Afghanistan, the rules of origin stipulate 50 per cent domestic value addition for export within the South Asian region.

Once Afghanistan comes under the SAFTA fold, this would come down to 30 per cent.

“This would mark a significant step forward for the Afghan economy and help boost its export to India,” he added.

The Minister also announced that India would undertake a review of the 744 items in sensitive list of export, largely in the areas of agriculture and textiles.

“We are currently working on a review of the negative list particularly with regard to least developed countries in the South Asian region,” he added.

Mr Ramesh observed that the track record of Indian investment in the least developed countries of the region was not positive.

He urged the Indian companies to make pro-active investments for the development of the Afghan economy.

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Written by afghandevnews

November 23, 2007 at 1:01 pm

Posted in Economy, Trade

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