NEW DELHI: India has informed the World Trade Organization (WTO) that it is in the process of expanding its trade agreement with MERCOSUR (a trading block of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) to cover a sizeable portion of bilateral trade as some countries raised questions about the agreement at the meeting of the Committee on Trade and Development held last week.

“The representative of India said that parties to the agreement have agreed on the need to “significantly increase” the number of tariff lines so that it covers a “sizeable portion” of bilateral trade,” said the WTO in a statement.

Several WTO members raised questions about the MERCOSUR-India agreement relating to the limited coverage of the agreement, whether more members would be included in the deal, how mutual recognition of measures for food safety and animal and plant health is implemented, and when pending submissions for the parties’ non-notified agreements would be ready.

The trade agreement, which entered into force in 2009, covers over 450 tariff lines for each country. The latest exchange of request lists to expand the deal’s coverage undertaken in 2013, is still under review.