India has extended tariff concessions on 3,142 items to five countries including China, Bangladesh, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Laos PDR under the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) effective from July 1, 2018.
According to an official release, ‘As a founding member of APTA, India is committed to strengthening the APTA process through these concessions’.
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. It is a preferential trade agreement, under which the basket of items as well as the extent of tariff concessions are enlarged during the trade negotiating rounds, which are launched from time to time.
Apart from exchanging tariff concessions on 3,142 tariff lines with all member countries, India has also extended special concessions on 48 tariff lines for LDCs, with Bangladesh and Laos PDR.
With the implementation of the fourth round of concessions, 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 per cent, the release stated.
The Least Developed Country (LDC) members are entitled to greater concessions on 1,249 items, with an average MoP of 81 per cent on these items under the special and differential treatment provisions of the APTA