New Delhi: 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.
APTA is an initiative under the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) for trade expansion through the 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 was 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.