The Agreement on South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) was signed by all the member states of the

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), namely,India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, th during the Twelfth SAARC Summit held in Islamabad on 4-6 January, 2004 . SAFTA, along with its four annexes, has come into force from 1st January, 2006. India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are categorized as Non-Least Developed Contracting States (NLDCS) and Bangladesh, Bhutan,Maldives and Nepal are categorized as Least Developed Contracting States (LDCS). 2. Article 7 of the SAFTA Agreement provides for a phased tariff liberalization programme (TLP) under which, in two years, NLDCS would bring down tariffs to 20%, while LDCS will bring them down to 30%. Non-LDCS will then bring down tariffs from 20% to 0-5% in 5 years (Sri Lanka 6 years), while LDCS will do so in 8 years. NLDCs will reduce their tariffs for L.D.C. products to 0-5% in 3 years. This TLP covers all tariff lines except those kept in the sensitive list (negative list) by the member states. 3. (i) The salient features of the four Annexes of SAFTA Agreement are as under: Rules of Origin: (a) For giving preferential access to the Member Countries under SAFTA, the goods shall have undergone substantial manufacturing process in the exporting countries. The substantial manufacturing process are defined in terms of twin criteria of Change of Tariff Heading (CTH) at four-digit Harmonized Coding System (HS) and value content of 40% (30% for LDCSs). Apart from the general rules it provides for Products-Specific Rules (PSR) for 191 tariff lines to accommodate the interest of LDCSs given their limited base for natural resources and undiversified industrial structure. The Products Specific Rules have been provided clearly on technical grounds i.e. where both inputs and outputs are at the same fourdigit HS level.



Sensitive Lists: The summary of the Sensitive Lists are as under:

Sl.No. Name of the Contracting States 1 Bangladesh 2 Bhutan 3 India 4 Maldives 5 Nepal 6 Pakistan 7 Sri Lanka

No of tariff lines No of tariff lines for LDCS for Non-LDCS 1249 1254 --------744 865 -----------------

Consolidated list ------137 -----671 1335 1183 1065

(b) India has offered Bangladesh market access for 8 million pieces of garments; 3 million pieces with the condition of sourcing fabrics from India, an additional three million garments with the condition of using fabrics of either Indian or Bangladesh origin and a further two million pieces without any condition. (iii). Mechanism for Compensation of Revenue Loss (MCRL) for the Least Developed Contracting States : (a) The compensation to LDCSs, except to Maldives, would be available for four years; to Maldives it would be for six years. The compensation would be in the form of grant in US dollar.


(c) The compensation would be subject to a cap of 1%, 1%, 5% and 3% of customs revenue collected on non sensitive items under bilateral trade in the base year, i.e., average of 2004 and 2005. The compensation shall be administered by the Committee of Experts as per the Administrative Arrangements defined in this Annex. (iv). Technical Assistance to Least Developed Contracting States in agreed areas. The main areas covered are - capacity building in standards, product certification, training of human resources, data management, institutional upgradations, improvement of legal systems and administration, customs procedures and trade facilitation, market development and promotion.

Implementation of SAFTA Agreement: a) SAPTA concessions would cease for the LDC Member States once the Non-

LDCSs complete the Trade Liberalization Programme (TLP) for LDCSs within three years. If any items, on which SAPTA concessions are available to LDCSs, appear in the Sensitive List of Non-LDCSs, they shall maintain the same level of concessions through derogation under Article 7(3)(a) and indicate the same in their respective Sensitive Lists, and if the items under TLP enjoy tariff preferences under SAPTA, the Non-LDCS shall reduce their tariff on those items to a rate not higher than the rate applicable for LDCS under SAPTA on the date agreed for base rate for TLP. b) The base rate for the purpose of tariff reduction would be MFN applied rate

existing as on 1st January 2006. c) Commencement of TLP: In view of different budget period of Member States, instead of 1 January, 2006, the member states decided to give effect to the phased tariff liberalization programme with effect from 1st July 2006 (Nepal from 1st August 2006) with the condition that the TLP for the first two years would be completed by 31st December, 2007. India had notified tariff concessions for the first installment (1 July 2006 to 31.12.2006) in respect of the first phase vide customs notifications Nos. 67/2006, 68/2006 and 69/2006 and for the second installment in the first phase (with effect from 1.1.2007) vide Customs notifications No. 140/2006 and 141/2006. The notifications issued by Pakistan for the first and second installments have a rider that Indian imports into Pakistan would continue to be as per their Positive List of importable items from India which at present consists of 1075 tariff lines. For more details of this Agreement Visit SAARC website ***

With effect from 3. impose non-tariff restrictions on import of certain goods of Indian origin for protection of their industries. No restrictions by India on Bhutan¶s trade with third countries.1972. Commerce and Transit was renewed on 28th July 2006 and operational from 29 July 2006 for a period of 10 years.Agreement on India-Bhutan Trade & Commerce The Agreement on Trade and Commerce between India and Bhutan was concluded in 17.1. with mutually agreed modifications. Both sides may impose non-tariff restrictions on import of third country goods from each other¶s territory. Under the Agreement India provides for 16 exit/entry points for this purpose. . Mutual refund annually of the excise duties on goods exported to each other. Trade transactions in Indian rupees or Bhutanese Ngultrums. India has also allowed export of goods to Bhutan. It has been renewed periodically. SALIENT FEATURES OF THE AGREEMENT i) ii) Free trade and commerce between the two countries.1994. with duty exemptions as for third country exports.3. The current Agreement between the two countries on Trade. under bond. against payment in free foreign exchange. Bhutan may. iii) iv) v) vi) The new agreement also provides for movement of Bhutanese goods from one part of Bhutan to another part of Bhutan through India. however.

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ISLFTA became operational from March 2000. Under the FTA. *** . both countries are committed to the elimination of tariffs in a phased manner. both Government of India and Sri Lanka are negotiating on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) to build upon the ISLFTA by deepening and widening the coverage by including Trade in Services. India has 429 tariff lines in its Negative List. Under this Agreement.12. Investment Economic Cooperation etc.98. Now. As per the provisions of the ISLFTA. tariff on a large number of items are phased out within an agreed time frame except in the Negative List.INDIA-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement There is a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (ISLFTA) with Sri Lanka which has been signed on 28. whereas Sri Lanka has kept 1180 items in the Negative List. India has already completed its tariff liberalisation programme on 18th March. The two sides also maintain Negative Lists of items on which TLP are not applicable. 2003 whereas Sri Lanka¶s tariff liberalisation programme would be completed in the year 2008.

80 for a period of three years with provision for extension of three years by mutual consent subject to such modifications as agreed upon. *** . This Agreement provides for the following : (a) expansion of trade and economic cooperation.2006 and presently the agreement is valid till 31.2009. Its validity has been extended from time to time.10. (d) exchange of business and trade delegations and consultation to review the working of the Agreement at least once a year.2006 which came into force from 1.03. etc.Trade Agreement between India and Bangladesh A bilateral trade agreement was signed between India and Bangladesh on 4.03. An amended Trade Agreement was signed on 21. (b) making mutually beneficial arrangement for the use of waterways. railways and roadways.4. (c) passage of goods between two places in one country through the territory of the other.

Potatoes. *** . These commodities usually consist of Eggs. subject to their foreign exchange regulations. Onion. River Sand and Aggregate.Trade Agreement between India and Maldives India and Maldives signed Trade Agreement on 31st March. All payments between India and Maldives are in freely convertible currency. Sugar. Rice. All payments between India and Maldives are in freely convertible currency. The Agreement provides for Most Favoured Nation (MFN) treatment to each other in trade and merchant vessels. 1981 which shall progressively remain in force until it is modified or terminated by either country on giving three months` notice to the other. As per the provisions of Articles VIII and IX of the Agreement India supply essential commodities annually as per the request of Maldives. Wheat Flour. subject to their foreign exchange regulations. promotion of commercial and technical cooperation through exchange of delegations and participation in trade fairs and exhibitions and supply of essential commodities by Government of India to Government of Maldives on annual quota.

The Treaty provides for setting up Joint Committee in the event the imports under the Treaty result in injury to the domestic industry in each country. 2007. Copper products and Acrylic Yarn (Ten thousand metric tones each) and Zinc Oxide (2500 metric tones). Hence.2002. The current Treaty which was renewed in January 2006 would be in force for a period of seven years up to 5. This Treaty provides for free movement of traffic-in-transit across territories of each other through mutually agreed routes for trade with third countries subject to taking measures to ensure that this does not infringe legitimate interests/security interests of each other. on a non-reciprocal basis. duty-free access to Nepalese goods without any quantity restriction. These are vanaspati (one lakh metric tones). the amended Treaty of Trade shall replace the existing Treaty. the validity of the Agreement would continue till a new Treaty comes into force.3. after necessary approval. twenty two mutually agreed routes are prescribed for bilateral trade. Traffic in transit is exempted from customs/all transit duties. restricted to annual quotas on four sensitive items in the interest of the domestic industries in these sectors. This is subject to fulfilling the twin criterion of four-digit tariff head change and value addition of 30% at ex-factory price in Nepal. Both sides are also engaged in mutual consultation process to amend the treaty of trade and once this process is over. Under this Treaty. Presently. This duty-free access is. The current Treaty has been in force for a period of five years with effect from 6. Article V of the Treaty provides for India to give. Pending completion of the process for its renewal with certain amendments proposed.1.2013. however. The Treaty provides for exit/entry points as may be mutually agreed upon. both Governments of Nepal and India have decided to renew the Treaty in its current form with effect from 6th March. 2007. In the case of industrial goods produced in Nepal. India has allowed 15 transit routes to . Treaty of Transit: India provides transit facilities to the landlocked Nepal under the Treaty of Transit. in the present Treaty.INDIA-NEPAL Treaty of Trade Treaty of Trade: The bilateral trade between India and Nepal is regulated by the Treaty of Trade. there is free trade on mutually agreed to primary products from each other as indicated in Protocol to Article IV of the Treaty. The routes for bilateral trade can be mutually decided. this Treaty were to expire on 6th March.

3. Merchant ships of Nepal is accorded treatment no less favourable than that accorded to ships of any other foreign country. The objective of this Agreement is to check illegal trade (smuggling) between the two countries.Governmental Committee (IGC) at Commerce Secretary-level: Both countries have established a forum known as Inter. They have requested for similar facilities at Mumbai and kandla.Nepal but so far not availed of this facility from Nepal.2002. 6. Inter.f. Presently Kolkata/Haldia are the operational entry points for Nepal¶s trade with third countries. *** .2007 in its present form. transit facilities and prevention of Unauthorized Trade which meet as often as required.Governmental Committee at Commerce Secretary-level to address the problems relating to bilateral trade.3. Agreement of Cooperation to Control Unauthorized Trade: India and Nepal have also signed an Agreement of Cooperation to Control Unauthorized Trade between the two countries.e. This Agreement has also been renewed w. This Agreement was last renewed for five years with effect from 6.

cement clinkers and white cement.b. establishing a Preferential Trading Arrangement between the two countries to promote harmonious development of the economic relations and free movement of goods through reduction of tariffs between the two countries. By this Agreement. Rules of Origin: The products to exported to each other have to satisfy the Rules of Origin attached to the Agreement. parts or products originating in the territory of the other Contracting Party.o. in respect of a product which complies with the origin requirements is exported by any Contracting Party and which has used material. value of the product under export *** . 3. 2003 in New Delhi which provides for.o. dry fruit. India has granted preferential tariff to 38 products from Afghanistan including raisins.India-Afghanistan Preferential Trade Agreement A Preferential Trade Agreement was signed between India and Afghanistan on March 6.b. 2. As per the cumulative rules of origin prescribed therein. refined sugar. value of the product under export subject to the condition that the aggregate value addition in the territories of the Contracting Parties is not less than 40 per cent of the f. preferential tariff is granted by the Government of Afghanistan to 8 items from India including tea. fresh fruits and spices. The Agreement would remain in force till either party gives to the other a notice for the Agreement¶s termination. the value addition in the territory of the exporting Contracting shall be not less than 30 per cent of the f. among others. antisera and medicines.

6. th 2. MERCOSUR also presented its wish list of 2099 products which is being considered in consultation with all concerned stakeholders. 5. Through IBSA Declaration made by the Heads of India. In December 2006. 2005. to negotiate a free trade area between the two parties in conformity with the rules of the World Trade Organization. upon the conclusion of G20 Meeting in New Delhi. The India-MERCOSUR PTA provides for five Annexes. Rules of Origin. The PTA would be operational after its ratification by the legislatures of the MERCOSUR countries. Accordingly. a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) was signed in New Delhi on January 25. The aim of this Preferential Trade Agreement is to expand and strengthen the existing relations between MERCOSUR and India and promote the expansion of trade by granting reciprocal fixed tariff preferences with the ultimate objective of creating a free trade area between the parties. . 3. These five annexes have been signed between the two sides on March 19. The five Annexes are: Offer List of MERCOSUR.India-MERCOSUR PTA A Framework Agreement was signed between India and MERCOSUR on 17 June 2003 at Asunction. Under this PTA India and MERCOSUR have agreed to give tariff concession to the other side on 450 and 452 tariff lines respectively. a preliminary discussion to work out the modalities of the future negotiations was held in New Delhi on 15 and 16 November 2006 wherein India presented a wish list of 626 additional products. The aim of this Framework Agreement is to create conditions and mechanisms for negotiations in the first stage. Offer List of India. Safeguard Measures and Dispute Settlement Procedure. Paraguay. 4. As a follow up to the Framework Agreement. it was agreed that India-MERCOSUR PTA would be expanded by increasing the number of products covered and increasing the tariff concessions agreed by each side. 2004. Brazil and South Africa th on 13 September 2006. by granting reciprocal tariff preferences and in the second stage.

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*** . The objectives of the JSG are as under:(i) Formulate a program by the end of 12006 to suggest steps for enhancing bilateral trade between India and Russia to a level of US$10 billion by 2010.2.2006. Efforts are underway to finalize the report of the JSG.O. and Study the feasibility to consider the possibility of signing Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement between India and the Government of the Russian Federation. Gref. (ii) 2. Services and Investment Cooperation between India and Russia. G. Minister of Economic Development & Trade of Russian Federation to India on 6. Three meetings of the JSG have been held so far. The report of the JSG would analyze the prospects for Trade in Goods.Joint Study Group between India and Russia A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation between the Ministry of Commerce & Industry of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Economic Development & Trade of Russian Federation was signed during the visit of Mr. The MoU provides for setting up of JSG between India-Russia.

3. In the light of the above consideration and the principles as set out in the relevant chapters of the Report and also taking into account the long-term economic relationship to be developed between the two countries. investment flows. Measures for trade facilitations. held its first meeting in January 2005 and has met alternately in India and Korea for a total of four times. facilitation and liberalization of investment flows. the Joint Study Group recommended that the Korea-India CEPA cover. among other things: y y y y y y Trade in goods.E. covering. and other areas of economic cooperation. The Joint Study Group. Roh Moo-hyun. the Joint Study Group concurred that there remains huge potential in all areas to be exploited to develop the existing bilateral economic relations into a more comprehensive and future-oriented one. In particular. 2. 4. Mr.E.Latest Status of Negotiations between India and Korea H. Manmohan Singh. and Other areas to be explored for furthering bilateral partnership. the Joint Study Group concluded that a CEPA between Korea and India would serve as a plausible institutional framework to this end and provide significant benefits for both countries. Measures for promoting bilateral economic cooperation in identified sectors. Trade in services. examining the feasibility of a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) between the two countries. the Joint Study Group was mandated with the task of. trade in goods and services. economists and representatives of business communities of Korea and India. Prime Minister of the Republic of India and H. The Joint Study Group also recommended that a Joint Task Force composed of government officials of both countries be appointed to accelerate the process of . In this regard. As a result of its study. Mr. composed of government officials. among others. President of the Republic of Korea met in New Delhi on 6 October 2004 and agreed to establish a Joint Study Group to take a comprehensive view of bilateral economic linkages between Korea and India. inter alia. Promotion.

The second and fourth meetings were held in Seoul in the month of May and October 2006. 2007. The third and fifth meeting were held in New Delhi and Jaipur respectively in the month of July 2006 and January 10-12. 2006. 2006. 6. a Joint Task Force composed of Government officials has been constituted. The Joint Task Force would bring about specific recommendations on each of the constituent elements of the CEPA for adoption by the two Governments. 5. The first meeting of India-Korea JTF was held on 23rd and 24th March. In pursuance to the recommendation of the JSG. The report of the JSG was signed by the Co-chairs in Seoul on January 6.realizing the benefits that may be derived from the CEPA and start its work of developing a CEPA for completion within a reasonable period of time. *** .

Petersburg on July 17. within a reasonable period of time. Department of Economic Affairs as the leader of Indian side. investment flows and other areas of economic relations between the two countries. investment flows. 3. including on launching of negotiations on the proposed EPA/CEPA. The fourth and final meeting of the JSG was held during June 5-7. They noted with satisfaction that a Joint Ministerial Statement. India-Japan Joint Study Group was set with Secretary.Latest Status of Negotiation between India and Japan Prime Minister of India and Japan on 29th November. which has made a series of recommendations. agreed to constitute a Joint Study Group (JSG). role of Japanese ODA in promoting economic partnership and other areas of economic cooperation. trade in services. has been signed during the visit. 2. Convinced that comprehensive economic engagement between the two countries must be a core element of their strategic partnership and also recognising that closer economic integration between India and Japan will contribute to further growth and stability in the broader Asian region. on the basis of the recommendations submitted by the Joint Study Group. 2006 in Tokyo. trade in services. focusing on measures required for a comprehensive expansion of trade in goods. The two leaders welcomed the report of the JSG. Accordingly. 2004 on the sidelines of IndiaASEAN Summit in Vientiane. 2006. They noted that the JSG has also recommended that India and Japan launch inter-governmental negotiations to develop an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) or Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The two leaders directed their officials to examine the recommendations of the JSG in a comprehensive. the two Prime Ministers decided to launch immediate negotiations for the conclusion of a bilateral Economic Partnership Agreement/ Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA/CEPA). It will be the endeavour of the Joint Task Force to . As per the Joint Statement issued during the Prime Minister¶s visit to Japan the two leaders welcomed the report of the India-Japan Joint Study Group and directed that those recommendations be implemented expeditiously. constituting a Joint Task Force to undertake the inter-governmental negotiations on the EPA/CEPA. The report of the JSG was submitted to both the Prime Ministers in St. covering trade in goods. constructive and positive manner and expeditiously work out implementation modalities.

Joint Secretary. The Japanese delegation was led by Mr. Pillai. Investment and Bi-lateral Cooperations. Ministry of Commerce. The working level meetings were Co-Chaired by Mr.K. Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the Japanees side and Shri Dinesh Sharma. the terms of reference for negotiations were agreed upon. Preliminary discussion also took place in the four working groups namely.Japan (Comprehensive) Economic Partnership Agreement were held from January 31 to February 2. *** . The first round of negotiations on the India . Trade in Goods. Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Indian delegation was led by Shri G. Secretary. Trade in Services. Masaharu Kohno. 4. Constitution of working / experts groups were also discussed. Sumio Kusaka. At the first round of negotiations.expedite these negotiations aiming to complete them in substance as soon as possible in approximately two years. Department of Commerce from the Indian side. 2007 in New Delhi. Deputy Director-General. The second round of negotiations will be held in April 2007 in Tokyo.

In this meeting.2006 in New Delhi.´ 2. The third meeting of India-China JTF was held on 4th and 5th January. The first meeting of the India-China JTF was held on 13. and the benefits that may derive from the possible China-India Regional Trading Arrangement and also give its recommendations regarding its content. MEA was the nodal Ministry for the JSG. Joint Secretary led the Indian delegation. a Joint Study Group was constituted. 2006 in Beijing. Shri Dinesh Sharma. The Group should present a study report and recommendation to the two Governments on measures for comprehensive trade and economic cooperation by the end of June 2004. The JSG would also draw up a programme for the development of India-China trade and economic cooperation for the next five years. aimed at encouraging greater cooperation between the business communities of both sides. As per the recommendations of the JSG.3.Latest Status of India-China RTA Negotiations A Joint Study Group was constituted following Prime Minister¶s visit to Beijing in June 2003. In pursuance to the above declaration. *** . 3. The final Report of the IndiaChina JSG was signed on 23rd March. The relevant declaration in this regard is reproduced below:³The two sides will set up a compact Joint Study Group (JSG) composed of officials and economists to examine the potential complementarities between the two countries in expanded trade and economic cooperation. The second meeting of India-China JTF was held on 18th and 19th September. 2007 in New Delhi. 2005. The JSG in its Report has recommended that the two governments appoint a Joint Task Force to study in detail the feasibility of. a Joint Task Force has already been set up. the Terms of Reference and Methodology for the work of India-China JTF were finalized.

In November 2001. The 1st ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) ± India Consultations were held on 15th September 2002 in Brunei Darussalam where the Ministers.Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Co-operation between the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India. at the First ASEAN-India Summit held on 5 November 2002 in Phnom Penh. ii. India became a Sectoral Dialogue Partner of ASEAN in 1992 and Full Dialogue Partner in 1996. Indonesia. FTA within 10 years timeframe. Subsequently. The AIELTF was asked to prepare a draft Framework Agreement to enhance the ASEAN-India trade and economic cooperation before the 2nd AEM ± India Consultations. A Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation between the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India was signed by the Prime Minster of India and the Heads of Nation/Governments of ASEAN members during the Second ASEAN ± India Summit on 8th October 2003 in Bali. the erstwhile Prime Minister of India made the following major announcements:i. as well as . Philippines. based on their levels of development to improve their market access to India. after discussing the Joint Study Report decided to establish an ASEAN-India Economic Linkages Task Force (AIELTF). 4. Thailand and Vietnam. Malaysia. Cambodia. ASEAN has a membership of 10 countries namely Brunei Darussalam. Myanmar. India¶s engagement with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) started with its "Look East Policy" in the year 1991. the ASEAN-India relationship was upgraded to the summit level. The key elements of the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation between the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India cover FTA in Goods. Cambodia. Indonesia. Lao PDR. Singapore. Services and Investment. 2. 3. India will extend special & differential trade treatment to ASEAN countries.

agreed under the Framework Agreement. Current Status 5. on Goods could not be implemented. Both sides have reached an agreement recently on the size of Negative List to be maintained by both sides. services and investment. the EHP. The new time frame for FTA in Goods has been agreed. Negotiations in Trade in Services and Investment are expected to begin immediately after the Agreement on Trade in Goods is concluded. *** . etc. The ASEAN-India TNC is undertaking negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) which includes a Free Trade Area in goods.Areas of Economic Cooperation. The TNC is now negotiating the Sensitive Lists. modalities for tariff reduction and elimination. Agreement has been reached on the Rules of Origin. which will be 490 products with a trade value cap of 5%. The ASEAN-India Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) was constituted and 14 meetings have been held so far. Due to difference of opinion on Rules of Origin. The ASEAN-India FTA(AI-FTA) negotiations are targeted to be concluded by July. 2007. The Agreement also provided for an Early Harvest Programme (EHP) which covers areas of Economic Cooperation and a common list of items for exchange of tariff concessions as a confidence building measure. Dispute Settlement Mechanism.

Negotiations on CECA were launched in New Delhi on 27-28 May 2003. inter-alia. Ministry of Trade & Industry. The JSG submitted its report to the two Prime Ministers on 8th April 2003. and A work programme of cooperation in a number of areas including health care. protection and cooperation. Commerce Secretary headed the team of Indian negotiators while Singapore was led by their Permanent Secretary. The JSG recommended the early launching of negotiations for a CECA to be structured as an integrated package of agreement between India and Singapore including :a) A Free Trade Agreement. . The JSG identified areas of increased economic engagement between the two countries and also recommended measures to be taken. µDeclaration of Intent¶ was signed between the two countries on 8th April 2003. trade in goods and services and investment. Twelve Rounds of negotiations were held alternatively in India and Singapore. A more liberal Air Services Agreement and Open Skies for Charter Flights. a Joint Study Group (JSG) for establishing a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between the two countries was set up on 8th April 2002. An improved Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement. b) c) d) e) 3. A bilateral agreement on investment promotion. Singapore. which would include. education. media. tourism and the creation.India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) During the visit of Prime Minister to Singapore in April 2002 to India. 2.

The implementation of CECA was reviewed recently at the level of Secretaries. Manmohan Singh and H.E. Lee Hsien Loong. 2005 by the Prime Minister Mr. *** .The Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between India and Singapore was signed on 29th June. The CECA has become operational with effect from 1-8-2005. Prime Minister of Singapore. Mr.

2003 in Bangkok. Thailand. The tariffs on these items would become zero for both sides on 1. Services and Investment and Areas of Economic Cooperation. due to difference of opinion on certain issues. regional and global economic integration processes of which both countries are a part.Framework Agreement for establishing Free Trade between India and Thailand In November 2001. Dr. Rules of Origin. During the visit of Indian Prime Minister to Thailand.2006. 4. 10 Rounds of negotiations for FTA in Goods have so far been held. the Prime Minister of Thailand. Having observed rich potential of trade expansion. Accordingly. India-Thailand Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) has been constituted and discussions are being held on the text of FTA.2004.9. 2. desirable and mutually beneficial. The Joint Working Group observed that the present policy regimes in both the countries were conducive to more intensive bilateral economic integration and a Free Trade Agreement could prove to be a building block for other sub-regional. a Joint Negotiating Group was set up to draft the Framework Agreement on India ± Thailand FTA. Dispute Settlement Mechanism and Sensitive List. However. The Framework Agreement prescribed that the FTA in Goods would commence from March 2005. The Framework Agreement cover FTA in Goods. The tariff concessions on 82 items of EHS list began from 1. a Framework Agreement for establishing Free Trade between India and Thailand was signed by the Commerce Ministers of the two sides on 9th October. the study concluded that the proposed Free Trade Agreement between India and Thailand is feasible. The Framework Agreement also provided for an Early Harvest Scheme (EHS) under which 82 common items of export interest to the sides have been agreed for elimination of tariff on a fast track basis. .9. Current Status 3. Thaksin Shinawatra and the Prime Minister of India agreed to set up a Joint Working Group (JWG) to undertake feasibility study on a Free Trade Agreement between India and Thailand .

The next round of TNC is expected to be convened shortly to resolve the outstanding issues.this deadline could not be met. Negotiations for FTA in Services and Investment have also begun. 5. Last meeting of the India-Thailand Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) was held in Chiang Mai from 9-13 January 2006. *** . No TNC could be convened in second half of 2006 due to political uncertainty in Thailand.

from their side.E. Minister of Trade. etc. Prime Minister of Malaysia and the Honourable Dr. it would be submitted to the two Governments. the Joint Study Group was duly constituted in March 2005. Indonesia was held in New Delhi on 8th August 2005.. During the meeting it was agreed that even while focussing on strengthening India¶s ongoing engagement with ASEAN. Draft JSG Report has been finalized and exchanged with the Malaysian side for updation of data. The JSG met four times and had several inter-sessional exchanges of drafts. Indonesia to India from 7-9 August 2005. Badawi. Prime Minister of India agreed to the setting up of a Joint Study Group (JSG) to explore the feasibility of Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between the two countries. Manmohan Singh.Joint Study Group (JSG) to Explore the Feasibility of Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between India and Malaysia On 20th December 2004. Dr Mari Elka Pangestu. *** Setting Up of a Joint Study Group (JSG) to Explore the Feasibility of Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between India and Indonesia During the visit of H. In accordance with the mandate granted by the two Prime Ministers. 2. a bilateral meeting between Commerce & Industry Minister and Minister of Trade. After finalizing the report. the Hon¶ble Dato¶ Seri Abdullah H.A. the two countries could also examine the possibility of .

an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on setting up of a Joint Study Group (JSG) on CECA comprising of senior government officials of the two sides. Kuwait.entering into a bilateral comprehensive economic cooperation arrangement in the long term. 2006. ³ *** Israel-India Joint Study Group and Implementation of its recommendations in the Report . has been signed. Trade in Services and Investment Cooperation as well as General Economic Cooperation are proposed to be synergized with the FTA. Oman. During the visit of the Indonesian President to India on 23. Qatar. They are India¶s third largest trading partners. Saudi Arabia and United Arab emirates. The JSG is being constituted shortly. with exports to this region constituting about 3-4% of India¶s global exports and our imports from this region accounting for over 20% of India¶s global imports.11. *** ³Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and Gulf Cooperation Council(GCC) The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) is a customs union comprising of Bahrain. India is in the process of negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with GCC and the first round of negotiation was held on March 21-22. The composition of the Indian delegation has been finalized.2005.

establishment investment dialogue. MRAs for items of both side¶s export interest. The text of the PTA. 2005 recommending an IndiaIsrael Action Plan for Comprehensive Economic Cooperation between the two countries. Both sides agreed to establish a Joint Working Group (JWG) to expeditiously follow-up the implementation of recommendations viz. This Action Plan includes recommendation for a WTO compatible Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA). Israel on 10th November. Tel Aviv. early utilization of R&D funds. Negotiation commenced. Trade in Goods and Services and General Economic Cooperation for developing modalities of CECPA. including Rules of Origin. A Joint Study Group (JSG) constituted in November 2003 to study the modalities of the CECPA discussed in detail the complementariness and potential synergies between the two economies and. negotiations on bilateral shipping agreement etc. .A Joint Study Group Report (JSG) had been constituted to examine ways and means of promoting bilateral economic relations and to consider an Economic Partnership Agreement between India and Israel. The Inter-Ministerial JSG finalized and released its report at Tel Aviv. identified Investment. in its report of November. Customs Cooperation.´ process for India-Israel Preferential Trade Agreement has *** Preferential Trade Agreement/ Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) between India with Mauritius. 2004. Operational Certification Procedures and Preferential Safeguards Measures have been proposed to the Israel side by Embassy of India. The Terms of Reference (TOR) for the India-Israel Joint Working Group on Trade-in-Service are being finalized. Joint Websites. liberalization of trade in services. PTA.

the Hon¶ble Prime Minister of India conveyed India¶s acceptance of the report by the Joint Study Group on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement and both sides agreed to set up a high-powered negotiating team for processing and finalizing the recommendations of this report within a twelve-month period.2. A Joint Working Group (JWG) consisting of Government representatives from both sides was set up to examine the proposal to prepare a draft Frame Work Treaty for the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between India and SACU countries.´ *** .´ *** Framework Agreement with South Africa Customs Union (SACU) South Africa. In a meeting of JWG held in Namibia on 6-7th September 2004. The Agreement will aim to promote expansion of trade and provide a mechanism to negotiate and conclude a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement within a reasonable time. Lesotho. 2. 2005. Botswana and Namibia have formed the South Africa Customs Union (SACU) with a common Custom Tariff Policy. The Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA)/Comprehensive Economic Cooperation & Partnership Agreement (CECPA) being negotiated with Mauritius is likely to be finalized shortly. Accordingly an empowered team was constituted for negotiating a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) with Mauritius. Swaziland. A Cabinet decision has been taken to enter into a Framework Agreement with the South African Customs Union (SACU). During his visit to Mauritius from March 30-April 2. the draft Framework Agreement was finalized.

The Agreement is operational among five countries namely. Till date three Rounds of Trade Negotiations have taken place.T. 2006. 89/2006-CUSTOMS dated 1st September. The Third Round of tariff concessions were implemented from st 1 September 2006 vide customs notification No.94/2006-CUSTOMS (N.nic. The text of the Agreement. 2005 in Beijing. Republic of Korea and Sri Lanka. China PR. 2. The revised Rules of Origin under APTA have been notified vide Notification No.) dated the 31st August. The original Agreement was signed on 31 July 1975 as an initiative under the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP) for trade expansion through exchange of tariff concessions among developing countries of the ESCAP region.commerce. 3. Rules of Origin and other details of national lists of tariff concessions may be seen under the heading of Trade Agreements/Transit Agreements (sub-heading Asia Pacific Trade Agreement) of the website www.China.ASIA PACIFIC TRADE AGREEMENT (APTA) The Bangkok Agreement renamed as Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) was signed in the first session of the Ministerial Council on 2nd November. *** Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) The initiative to establish Bangladesh-India-Sri Lanka-Thailand Economic Cooperation (BIST-EC) was taken by Thailand in 1994 to explore economic cooperation on a sub regional basis involving contiguous countries of South East & South Asia . Bangladesh. 2006 which has consolidated the concessions granted in all the three rounds of negotiations.

*** Global System of Trade Preferences (GSTP) . BIMSTEC is visualized as a µbridging link¶ between two major regional groupings i. Myanmar).1997 and the initiative was renamed as BIMST-EC. It was agreed that BIMST-EC should aim and strive to develop into a Free Trade Area. which was held in Bangkok in August. It may be mentioned that the initiative involves 5 members of SAARC (India. Nepal. services and investment. A Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) has been constituted to carry forward the programme of negotiations. The negotiations on the Agreement on Services & Investment have also commenced.e. The negotiations on FTA in Goods are at an advanced stage. Myanmar was admitted in December. Bangladesh . 1998 imparted a new dimension to economic cooperation between the member states. 4. Nepal & Sri Lanka) and 2 members of ASEAN (Thailand. 2004 in Phuket. ASEAN and SAARC.grouped around the Bay of Bengal. Thailand is the chair country for the TNC. The Framework Agreement on the BIMST-EC FTA was signed on 8th February. increase investment & promote technical cooperation among member countries. 3. The Framework Agreement includes provisions for negotiations on FTA in goods. Bhutan. BIMSTEC is an important element in India¶s ³Look East´ strategy and adds a new dimension to our economic cooperation with South East Asian countries. During the first BIMST-EC Summit held in July 2004. 2. India. Thailand by Bhutan. and should focus on activities that facilitate trade. Bhutan and Nepal had joined BIMST-EC as new members formally only the day prior to the signing of the Framework Agreement. Myanmar. Sri Lanka and Thailand during the Fifth BIMST-EC Economic Ministers¶ Meeting. the initiative has been renamed as the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Co-operation (BIMSTEC) with the admission of Bhutan and Nepal as members to the grouping. Bangladesh acceded to the Agreement subsequently by signing a Protocol to this effect in June 2004. The First meeting of the Economic/Trade Ministers of BIMST-EC.

the Negotiating Group on Rule Making to review the Rules of Origin and related issues and the Negotiating Group on Market Access for market access negotiations. 3. 2004. 1989 after a long process of negotiations which started in 1976. It lays down rules. 4.The Agreement establishing the Global System of Trade Preferences (GSTP) among Developing countries was signed on 13th April. 2004. Text of the Agreement http://www. Several countries including India. As per the decision taken in the Special Ministerial Session. indicated their preference to conclude the Third Round by end of 2007. a Negotiating Committee has been constituted to carry forward the Third Round can be accessed on the website *** . The Committee has constituted two Negotiating Groups viz. Brazil on 16th June. The number of products covered for tariff concessions is very limited and so was the number of countries which participated in negotiations. India is participating in these negotiations. Till date Forty-four countries have ratified the Agreement and have become participants. principles and procedures for conduct of negotiations and for implementation of the results of the negotiations. 5. The Third Round of negotiations under GSTP was launched in the Special Ministerial Session of the Committee of Participants held in Sao Paulo during UNCTAD XI Conference held in Sao Paulo.g77. A meeting of the Senior Officers of the Negotiating Committee on GSTP was held on 11-12 December 2006 in Geneva. 1988 at Belgrade following conclusion of the First Round of Negotiations. The GSTP establishes a framework for the exchange of trade concessions among the members of the Group of 77. So far only two Rounds of negotiations have been held under GSTP. 6. The Negotiating Groups commenced negotiations in November. The Agreement entered into force in April. 2.

The Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) was formally accepted in 1968 by the Members of the UN at the second UNCTAD Conference in New Delhi. The `Enabling Clause¶. *** . Preferential Tariff treatment is granted on a non-reciprocal and nondiscriminatory basis by most developed countries to exports from developing countries. List of countries granting the GSP schemes and details of these schemes can be accessed on the website www. Non-discrimination and Non-Reciprocity.unctad. which emerged as a result of the Tokyo Round in 1979 provided the legal basis for GSP preferences 2. with most favored national treatment (MFN) duties reduced or eliminated.Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) The Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) is a non-contractual instrument by which Industrialized (developed) countries unilaterally and on the basis of nonreciprocity extend tariff concessions to developing countries. The underlying principles of the scheme are Generally.

Recognizing that stronger economic engagement is mutually advantageous and would buttress the Strategic Partnership. the leaders decided to advance their bilateral trade relations. The 7th India-EU Summit at Helsinki accepted the report of the HLTG and the following Joint Statement was issued :³The rapidly growing flows of two way Trade and Investment between the EU and India reflect the strengthening of bilateral ties. The Summit agreed that both sides move towards negotiations for such an agreement. The HLTG was also tasked with examining the possibility of launching negotiations on a broad based Trade and Investment Agreement.India-EU High Level Trade Group Trade and Investment Agreement with European Union ± during 6th India ± EU Summit held in New Delhi.´ . It was also decided that HLTG would report to the 2006 India ± EU Summit to be held in Helsinki in October. The Summit welcomed the work done by the High Level Trade Group and endorsed the case made for a future broad based bilateral trade and investment agreement. 2006. a High Level Trade Group (HLTG) was set up and it was mandated to explore ways and means to deepen and widen the Bilateral Trade and Investment Relationship. Leaders of both sides encouraged an expansion and deepening of trade and investment linkages. Within the Joint Action Plan. it was decided to launch India EU Joint Action Plan for Strategic Partnership.

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