The Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) is an international trade agreement between six countries in the Asia-Pacific region. These countries include Bangladesh, China, India, Laos, South Korea, and Sri Lanka. The agreement was signed in 1975, with the aim of promoting economic cooperation and trade among the member countries.
In 2018, APTA was revived with a new agreement signed by the six member countries. The updated agreement is known as the APTA-Upgrade, and it aims to provide better and more comprehensive trade agreements for member countries. The agreement focuses on reducing and eventually eliminating tariffs on goods and services traded between the member countries.
One of the key components of the APTA-Upgrade is the creation of a “negative list” approach. This means that all goods and services will be allowed to be traded, except for those on a list of items that are prohibited or restricted. This approach aims to reduce barriers to trade and increase the flow of goods and services between the member countries.
The APTA-Upgrade also includes provisions to improve trade facilitation measures, such as simplifying customs procedures and enhancing cooperation between member countries. This is expected to make it easier and faster for businesses to trade with each other.
Another important feature of the APTA-Upgrade is the inclusion of services trade. This means that member countries will now be able to trade in services such as telecommunications, finance, and education. This is a significant step in promoting greater economic cooperation between member countries.
Overall, the revamping of the APTA is a positive development for the Asia-Pacific region. The new agreement is expected to increase trade among member countries and promote economic growth. It also sets a good example for other countries and regions looking to establish more comprehensive and beneficial trade agreements.