India and Taiwan sign landmark organic products agreement

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INVC NEWS
New Delhi : The Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) for organic products between India and Taiwan has officially been implemented as of July 8, 2024. This significant milestone was announced during the 9th Working Group on Trade Meeting held in New Delhi. This MRA marks the first bilateral agreement specifically for organic products, a testament to the strengthening trade relationships between the two nations.

Implementation and Key Agencies

The MRA is facilitated by two main agencies:

  • Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India
  • Agriculture and Food Agency (AFA) under the Ministry of Agriculture, Taiwan

These agencies are responsible for ensuring that the organic products from both countries meet the mutually agreed standards and certifications.

Certification and Compliance

Under this agreement, agricultural products produced and handled organically in accordance with India’s National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) and accompanied by an organic demonstration document (such as a transaction certificate) issued by an accredited certification body under NPOP, are now permitted for sale in Taiwan as organically produced goods. These products can proudly display the “India Organic” logo.

Similarly, agricultural products produced and handled organically following Taiwan’s Organic Agriculture Promotion Act and accompanied by an organic demonstration document issued by an accredited certification body under Taiwanese regulation, are allowed for sale in India. These products will carry the “Taiwan Organic” logo.

Benefits of the Mutual Recognition Agreement

Reduction in Compliance Costs

One of the key benefits of this MRA is the elimination of dual certifications. Exporters from both countries can now adhere to a single set of regulations, significantly reducing compliance costs. This streamlining of requirements is expected to simplify the export process and make it more efficient.

Enhanced Trade Opportunities

The MRA opens up new trade opportunities in the organic sector. Indian organic products such as rice, processed food, green/black and herbal tea, and medicinal plant products will now have easier access to the Taiwanese market. Conversely, Taiwanese organic products will find a welcoming market in India, fostering bilateral trade growth.

Impact on the Organic Sector

Boost to Indian Organic Exports

The agreement is anticipated to significantly boost India’s organic exports. India, known for its diverse agricultural produce, has been steadily increasing its organic production. With this agreement, Indian farmers and exporters can look forward to tapping into the Taiwanese market, which has a growing demand for organic products.

Opportunities for Taiwanese Producers

Taiwanese producers will benefit from the MRA as well. The Indian market, with its vast population and increasing awareness of organic products, presents a lucrative opportunity for Taiwanese organic goods. This agreement ensures that Taiwanese producers can compete on an equal footing with local organic producers in India.

Strategic Importance of the Agreement

Strengthening Bilateral Relations

The MRA is not just a trade agreement; it is a strategic move to strengthen bilateral relations between India and Taiwan. By fostering closer economic ties, both nations can work towards a more collaborative future. This agreement is a clear signal of mutual trust and cooperation.

Setting a Precedent

As the first bilateral agreement for organic products, the MRA sets a precedent for future agreements. It serves as a model for other countries looking to enter into similar arrangements, highlighting the benefits of mutual recognition and cooperation.

Future Prospects

Expansion to Other Products

While the current MRA covers agricultural products, there is potential for expanding the agreement to include other organic products in the future. This could further enhance trade opportunities and provide a broader range of organic goods to consumers in both countries.

Continuous Improvement and Cooperation

The agreement is just the beginning. Both India and Taiwan are committed to continuous improvement of their organic standards and practices. By working together, they can ensure that the quality of organic products remains high and that the benefits of organic farming are realized by both producers and consumers.

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