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Bilateral Affairs - June 2011

India notified the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with the Government of Mozambique for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

The DTAA provides for effective exchange of information and assistance in collection of taxes between tax authorities of the two countries. It will also provide tax stability to the residents of India and Mozambique and facilitate mutual economic cooperation as well as stimulate the flow of investment, service and technology between India and Mozambique.

India extended duty-free market access to Afghanistan as part of its economic package for LDCs (Least Developed Countries). Under this scheme, the import of most products from the neighbouring nation will be allowed at zero duty. India’s duty-free tariff preference (DFTP) scheme was launched by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2008. 

The scheme provides preferential duty access on products including 92.5 percent of global LDC exports.Some of the products of interest for LDCs which are covered include cotton, aluminium ore, cashewnut, cane sugar, readymade garments, fish fillets and non-industrial diamonds.

India and Uzbekistan signed a total of 34 agreements during the visit of Islam Abduganievich Karimov(President of Uzbekistan) to India on 17-18 May 2011. 

The major agreements between India and Uzbekistan are as following:

Memorandum of Understanding between ONGC Videsh Limited and Uzbekneftegaz on Cooperation in Hydrocarbon Sector.

Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in Oil and Gas sector between Uzbekneftegaz and ESSAR group.

Agreement of establishment of Joint Business Council between the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan. India and Uzbekistan also issued a joint statement on strategic partnership during this visit. The strategic partnership between India and Uzbekistan would include active cooperation in a wide spectrum of areas such as political, economic, counter-terrorism, education, health, human resource development, science and technology, tourism and culture.

Swiss parliament gave approval for amending its tax treaties with other countries, including India. This makes easier access for India, to collect information about the illegal funds held by the Indian nationals in Swiss private banks. 

The beneficiaries from the new amendments include India, Germany, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, Greece, Turkey, Uruguay, Kazakhstan, and Poland. 

These countries are secured with easy legal assistance and information. Indian Finance Ministry and Swiss Federal Council signed a protocol to amend the double taxation agreement in the area of taxes on income on 30 August 2010.

Foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates, HH Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited India. During his visit, Sheikh Abdullah and his Indian counterpart SM Krishna signed a bilateral MOU on periodic political consultations between the two foreign offices on bilateral issues as well as exchange of views on regional and international issues of mutual interest. 

Both nations agreed to work together to enhance the profile of India-UAE investment relations, especially in the infrastructure sector. They also agreed that the joint commission on Economic Cooperation Meeting will be held in Abu Dhabi in 2011.

India was UAE’s largest trading partner with bilateral trade of US$ 43 billion. 

India and Slovenia signed three agreements. The agreement was also intended to boost the economic relations between Slovenia and India. Slovenia looked forward to strong political and business ties with India. The agreement is an outcome of the Slovenian Prime Minister, Borut Pahor’s four-day visit to India. 

The agreement included- 

o An agreement on cooperation in the field of education, science and technology and research. 

o Mutual promotion and protection of investments

o MoU between Bureau of Indian Standards and Slovenian Institute for Standards. The Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) was signed by India’s Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherji and the Slovenian Economy Minister, Ms. Darja Radiae.

India and Japan signed seven agreements in New Delhi under which Japan will provide soft loans worth 8632 crore rupees for a number of projects including the Bangalore Metro Rail. The loans are to be given under the Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The agreements cover many sectors, including energy, power, financial services, urban transport, road safety and forestry.It should be noted that India is the highest recipient of ODA from Japan at present.



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