Cabinet approves Exchange of Tariff concessions under the Fourth Round of Negotiations APTA [Economy, IR]
- The Union Cabinet has approved the exchange of tariff concessions, on Margin of Preference basis, under the Fourth Round of Negotiations under the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement and related amendments.
- The Asia Pacific Trade Agreement or APTA (formerly the Bangkok Agreement) 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.
- The current membership of APTA consists of six countries or Participating States (PSs)- Bangladesh, China, India, Lao PDR, Republic of Korea, and Sri Lanka.
- Since this is a preferential trade agreement, 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.
- Till date, three rounds of trade negotiations have taken place.
- The Cabinet approved India’s offer 28.01% of dutiable national tariff lines with an average MoP of 33.45%. This will deepen the concessions being offered under this Agreement.
- Approval was also given to amend the preamble of APTA to effect accession of Mongolia as the 7th APTA Participating State.
- Other amendments to incorporate the Sectoral Rule of Origin to the Agreement were also approved.
- The Fourth Session of the Ministerial Council of APTA, which is scheduled to be held shortly, will formally implement all the above decisions.