India, Japan sign free trade pact

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Tokyo: Japan and India signed a free trade agreement on February 16 amid a push by Japan to revive its weak economy by lowering barriers to trade and deepening its economic ties with the fast-growing nations of emerging Asia.

The economic partnership agreement, signed by Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma will slash tariffs on goods  from DVD players  to shrimp and lumber, and introduces measures to promote investment and deal  with intellectual property rights.

Sharma called the agreement “historic and significant,” highlighting how emerging economies such as India and China “are helping reshape the new global architecture.”

The pact still needs ratification by Japan’s Parliament to come into force, but India does not require an app-roval  of its legislative body.

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