The results of 4th Round of
negotiations under the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) (formerly Bangkok
Agreement) among six countries, namely, Bangladesh, China, India, Lao PDR,
Republic of Korea, and Sri Lanka, have been implemented with effect from 1st July,
2018 says an official release.
APTA is an initiative under the United Nations
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) for trade
expansion through exchange of tariff concessions among developing country
members of the Asia Pacific Region, in place since 1975. APTA is a Preferential
Trade Agreement, under which the basket of items as well as extent of tariff
concessions are enlarged during the trade negotiating rounds which are launched
from time to time.
The 4th Round of trade negotiations
were formally concluded and signed by the Ministers of the member countries
during the meeting of the APTA Ministerial Council on 13th January,
2017. The decision of the Ministerial Council has now been implemented by all
members with effect from 1 July 2018.
With the implementation of the Fourth
Round, the coverage of preferences of total tariff lines for each member would
come of 10,677 tariff lines (up from 4,270 items at the conclusion of the Third
Round) and deepen the average Margin of Preference (MoP) being provided under
the agreement to 31.52%. The Least Develop Country (LDC) members are entitled
to greater concessions on 1,249 items with an average MoP of 81% on these items
under the special and differential treatment provisions of the APTA.
India has, on its part, exchanged tariff
concessions on 3142 tariff lines with all member countries and special
concessions on 48 tariff lines for LDCs, with Bangladesh and Lao PDR.
As a founding member of APTA, India is committed to
strengthening the APTA process through these concessions.