Thursday, April 22, 2021

India Offers Concessions to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka Under Asia Pacific Trade Agreement

In a move to bolster India-Bangladesh and India-Sri Lanka Trade Relations, India has agreed to provide tariff concessions on 3142 items. India will provide tariff concessions on 3142 items to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and other members of the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement. The Commerce Ministry of India confirmed the development. 

This move will push India-Bangladesh and India-Sri Lanka trade to new levels, as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will now enjoy major concessions from India. This could further replicate in strategic partnerships between India and Bangladesh as well as India and Sri Lanka.

Asia Pacific Trade Agreement

The  Asia Pacific Trade Agreement has six members in total with India and China being the key members. Asia Pacific Trade Agreement is the oldest among all Preferential Trade Agreements between the nations in the Asia Pacific region. India is a founding member of the  Asia Pacific Trade Agreement and is committed to helping the least developed nations.

As reported by the Press Trust of India, the tariff concessions and the concessions in duty will be more for the less developed nations and less for the developing nations. India along with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Laos, China, and Korea makes the six members of the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (ATPA).

ATPA is an initiative taken under the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia. It was set up in 1975 as a measure to expand trade among the developing nations in the Asia Pacific Region. The ATPA is a Preferential Trade Agreement under which the list of items and the tariffs on them are discussed in regular meetings among members.

The average margin of preference under the agreement is set at 31.52 per cent. However, the margin of preference for the least developed countries is 81 per cent with greater concessions being provided on 1249 items. The decisions of the last meeting of the members held on January 13 were put in effect from 1st July.

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