Asia-Pacific countries aim to widen trade ties: Kamal Nath

November 14th, 2007 - 2:56 am ICT by admin  
“We’ll be expanding the content of this agreement. We have also decided to explore the options to widen the scope of this agreement not only of goods, but to non-tariff measures, services and investments,” Kamal said at the second ministerial meeting of Asia-Pacific countries, which concluded on Friday.

The meeting also marks the first time that the economic powerhouses of China, India and Republic of Korea have adopted common set of operational rules on certifying the origin of goods, making it easier for them to export goods to each other at preferential tariff rates even if items contain components from non-APTA countries.

This regional trading agreement will serve as a bridge towards the multilateral trading system.

The Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), consisting of six Asian countries — India, Bangladesh, China, South Korea, Laos and Sri Lanka — is the only regional trade agreement, which links East, Southeast and South Asia.

Formed under the patronage of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP), APTA was concluded in 1975 and was originally called the Bangkok Agreement.

India’s total trade with APTA member countries increased from 5.3 billion dollars in 2001 to 28.4 billion dollars in 2006. (ANI)

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