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Farming is ‘sensitive’ in India deal

Sept 08,2007
Korea aims to ensure a measure of protection for agricultural products if an economic partnership agreement is signed with India, the government said yesterday.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry said every effort will be made to include agriculture in the batch of “sensitive” items that can be excluded from an open trade arrangement. The two sides are to hold the next round of Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement talks in Seoul early next week.
“New Delhi has shown interest in the agriculture sector, but Seoul’s stance is to ensure that local farmers are not unduly hurt by market opening,” a ministry official said.
The partnership agreement, technically the equivalent of a free trade agreement, is geared to promote growth through liberal trade, investment and economic and technical cooperation. Korean agricultural goods are comparatively more expensive than those grown in other countries, and could be hit hard if there is a sudden influx of cheap produce.
The official added Seoul made clear that the “sensitive” nature of Korea’s farming sector must be reflected in any free trade pact. Seoul and New Delhi want to conclude the CEPA negotiations by the end of the year. Yonhap


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