Asia Pacific Trade Agreement APTA




Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA)


The Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), previously named the Bangkok 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.

  1. During the Second Session of the Ministerial Council at Goa on 26 October 2007 the following important decisions were taken :
  1. To launch the 4th Round of Negotiations;

  2. To adopt modalities for extension of negotiations in other areas such as non-tariff measures, trade facilitation, services, and investment;

  3. 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

  4. To explore the possibilities of expanding the membership of the Agreement.
  1. 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 measures.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The Standing Committee is also considering a framework agreement on non-tariff measures and a revision of the APTA rules of origin.



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