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Indian Cabinet Okays MoU with Portugal, Kenya, Uruguay

Indian Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved signing of bilateral agreements with Portugal, Kenya and Uruguay in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.

The Agreements cover exchange of scientific and technical information, trade in plants and plant products, exchange of information in phytosanitary issues, training programmes, seminars and visits of experts and consultants.

These agreements will faciitate constitution of a Joint Working Groups comprising of representatives from both countries, to monitor the implementation of MoU and making concrete proposals for agriculture cooperation in the future.

The agreements will remain in force for five years, to be automatically extended for another five years unless either Party gives written notice through diplomatic channels to the other Party of its intention to terminate the Agreement at least six months before its expiration, said a statement by the government.

The agreement with Uruguay is significant as it also envisages cooperation in Customs Matters. It vouches for help in the availability of information for the prevention and investigation of Customs offences to ensure efficient clearance of goods traded between the two countries.

The Agreement also takes care of Indian Customs’ concerns and requirements, particularly in the area of exchange of information on the correctness of the Customs value declared, the authenticity of certificates of origin of goods and the description of the goods traded between the two countries.

Uruguay is an important trading partner of India among members of the MERCOSUR, a trading block in Latin America, with which India signed a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) that came into effect from 1st June, 2009.

As trade between India and the Uruguay has been expanding gradually, the pact provides a legal framework for sharing of information and intelligence between the Customs authorities of the two countries and help in the proper application of Customs laws, prevention and investigation of Customs offences and the facilitation of legitimate trade.

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