Non-tariff barriers in ASEAN making Indian products uncompetitive: FICCI

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Non-tariff barriers like cumbersome registration process of pharmaceutical products and complex custom clearance procedures are making Indian products uncompetitive in the South East Asian countries, a Ficci survey said on Sunday. 

The survey, 'Impact of India-ASEAN FTA on Indian Industry', said that Indian pharma products face non-tariff barriers (NTBs) like cumbersome registration process in Indonesia. 

"There are also other issues of NTBs with Indonesia on carbon black, wheat flour, uncoated writing and printing paper and milk products," it said. 

Gems and jewellery companies send their shipments to Thailand through Hong Kong due to high custom duty and complex custom clearance procedures. 

The chamber, therefore, asked the government to identify such barriers and resolve them to increase the competitiveness of Indian products in the Asean countries. 

It said that quality check should be imposed on the standard of products imported from the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean), with whom India has implemented a free trade agreement in goods last year. 

The survey has also asked the government to closely monitor imports. 

It said that although the free trade pact has opened up more opportunities for Indian industries, there has been some negative impact of duty reduction on imports from Asean countries in India's domestic market. 

However, out of the 78 companies that participated in the survey, majority foresaw no negative impact of duty reduction on the domestic market. 

About 80 per cent said that the import of products belonging to their sector has not increased from the region since the implementation of the pact. 

The remaining 20 per cent felt the imports were rising at a substantial rate in their respective sectors, including engineering products, processed food, textiles, garments, plantation crops and auto parts. 

About 40 per cent said that they have seen some negative impact in the domestic market arising out of duty reduction on imports from Asean in to India.

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