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Korean firms in India expresses concern over trade regulations

South Korean companies operating in India have cited various trade barriers, including tariffs, as major hurdles of doing business there, industry sources said Friday.

During the conference hosted by Seoul's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy in Ahmedabad, the economic hub of the Indian state of Gujarat, firms operating on the subcontinent claimed that there should be an improvement made to the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.


South Korea and India implemented CEPA, a type of free trade agreement that emphasizes two-way economic cooperation on top of opening markets, in January 2010.

Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's No. 1 carmaker, claimed that the two countries should make efforts to grant more freedom to carmakers in terms of exports, as CEPA does not include tariff benefits.

The Indian government currently imposes a 60 percent tariff on automobiles and a 12.5 percent duty on auto parts.

An official from Hyundai stressed that tariffs on auto parts need to be abolished to increase car production in India.

South Korean steelmaker POSCO echoed this view, asserting that CEPA should give benefits to steel products.

"While 85 percent of South Korean steel products receive benefits from CEPA, that portion should be expanded to a 95 percent level," an official from POSCO said.

A spokesperson from the industry ministry said the government will continue to make efforts to support South Korean firms in India and claimed it will deliver the companies' opinions to its Indian counterpart. (Yonhap)