Six Asian Economies to Launch a New Round of Trade Liberalization

Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement Ministers Meet on 26 October in Goa

Six Asian countries—including China, India and the Republic of Korea-- are expected to launch a new round of negotiations aimed at reducing tariffs and increase trade among them.

At a ministerial meeting of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) in Goa, India, on 26 October, the six countries will also adopt an agreement on the certification and verification of the origin of goods.
This will mark the first time that the economic powerhouses of China, India and the Republic of Korea adopt common 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 the items contain components from non-APTA countries. The other three APTA members are Bangladesh, Lao PDR and Sri Lanka.

APTA is the only regional trade agreement which links East, Southeast and South Asia. Negotiated under the auspice of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), it was concluded in 1975 and was originally called the Bangkok Agreement.

The Goa meeting, hosted by the Minister for Commerce and Industry of India, Mr. Kamal Nath, will be attended by ministers or vice ministers from the six APTA members. Mr. Shigeru Mochida, the Deputy Executive Secretary of UNESCAP will attend and speak.

The meeting will launch the Fourth Round of Tariff Negotiations which, when completed, will deepen and widen trade opportunities among the participating states.