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S Asian trade pact okayed

BS Economy Bureau in New Delhi | February 05, 2004 13:58 IST

The government approved the signing of a framework agreement on BIMST-EC (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand Economic Cooperation) free trade area to boost trade and economic cooperation with these countries.

The agreement, which is part of the government's 'look east' policy, would also progressively liberalise and promote trade in goods and services, create a transparent, liberal and facilitative investment, an official spokesperson told reporters after the meeting of the Cabinet here.

The member countries have also agreed to negotiate expeditiously to establish a BIMST-EC free trade area to strengthen and enhance economic cooperation.

The agreement, which would provide greater market access to India in these countries, would explore new areas and develop suitable measures for closer cooperation.

The Cabinet also approved a bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement between India and Armenia. The agreement, which was given post-facto approval by the Cabinet, provides for extending national treatment and most favoured nation treatment to foreign investment and investors of Armenia.

The Cabinet also approved the transfer of 46.52 acres of defence land at Delhi Cantonment to the Delhi Development Authority in exchange of equal value land for construction of approach road to Dwarka sub-city.

The new road will ease traffic congestion in Delhi Cantonment and will smoothen the traffic flow to Dwarka. DDA will give 70 acres of its land at Dwarka phase-I to the defence department.

The Cabinet also approved the signing of treaties on provision of mutual legal assistance in criminal matters signed by the government with Thailand and South Korea.

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