On 1st August 2019, India and Japan had signed a historic free trade agreement. This agreement is known as the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and is considered to be one of the largest economic agreements between India and Japan. The agreement aims to promote free trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

The main objective of this agreement is to strengthen the economic ties between India and Japan through trade liberalization and removal of trade barriers. The agreement covers various sectors such as trade in goods, trade in services, investment, and intellectual property rights.

The CEPA provides for the reduction or elimination of tariffs on a wide range of products traded between India and Japan. Approximately 94% of trade between the two countries has been covered under this agreement. This means that Indian and Japanese businesses will benefit from lower tariffs and easier access to each other`s markets.

The agreement also includes provisions to promote investment and protect intellectual property rights. The CEPA provides for the protection of trademarks, patents, and copyrights. This will encourage innovation and creativity in both countries and also boost investments.

This free trade agreement has significant benefits for both India and Japan. For India, the CEPA is expected to increase exports to Japan and provide access to the Japanese market for Indian businesses. The agreement will also help to diversify Indian exports and reduce India`s dependence on traditional markets. For Japan, the CEPA will help in securing a stable supply of raw materials and promote investment in India.

However, it is important to note that the benefits of the CEPA may not reach all sectors and regions equally. Some sectors may not benefit from the agreement, while others may lose out to competition from Japanese products. The agreement may also have social and environmental impacts that need to be carefully assessed and managed.

In conclusion, the free trade agreement between India and Japan is an important milestone in the economic partnership between the two countries. The CEPA has the potential to boost trade and investment, and promote economic growth and development. It is up to the governments of both countries to ensure that the benefits of the agreement are maximized and that any negative impacts are carefully managed.