Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA)
Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), previously named the
Agreement, signed in 1975 as an initiative of ESCAP, is a preferential tariff
arrangement that aims at promoting intra-regional trade through exchange of
mutually agreed concessions by member countries. APTA has five members namely
Bangladesh, China, India, Republic of Korea, Lao People's Democratic Republic
and Sri Lanka. ESCAP functions as the secretariat for the Agreement.
- During the Second Session of the Ministerial Council at Goa on 26
October 2007 the following important decisions were taken :
- To launch the 4th Round of Negotiations;
- To adopt modalities for extension of negotiations in other areas such as
non-tariff measures, trade facilitation, services, and investment;
- A common set of Operational Procedures for the Certificate and
Verification of the Origin of Goods for APTA was approved and it was decided
that the same would be implemented w.e.f. 1st January, 2008; and
- To explore the possibilities of expanding the membership of the
- Pursuant to the directions of the Ministers, the Standing Committee
initiated negotiations in the areas of tariff concessions with an average of
50% MOP on 50% of tariff lines along with framework agreements on (i) trade
facilitation (ii) trade in services (iii) investments and (iv) non-tariff
- To move forward the 4th Round of Negotiations, the 35th Session of the
Standing Committee and the 3rd Session of the Ministerial Council were held
in Seoul, Republic of Korea on December 13-14, 2009 and December 15, 2009
respectively. Mongolia, which has expressed its interest in acceding to
APTA, was also invited to participate as an observer to the Session. The
Indian delegation was led by Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, Hon’ble Minister
of State for Commerce and Industry.
- Under the 4th Round, the Standing Committee of Participating States has finalised framework agreements in the areas of (i) trade facilitation, (ii)
trade in services and (iii) promotion and liberalisation of investments.
Offers of further tariff liberalisation in goods have also been exchanged.
- The Standing Committee is also considering a framework agreement on
non-tariff measures and a revision of the APTA rules of origin.