Cabinet approves deeper tariff cuts to APTA countries

Source: The Economic Times, Sept 12, 2016

NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet on Monday allowed the government to offer deeper concessions on tariffs while trading with APTA countries comprising Bangladesh, China, India, Lao PDR, Republic of Korea, and Sri Lanka.

From 570 tariff lines, the number of products on which duty concessions will be given have increased to 3,142. The margin of preference (MoP) has been increased from 23.9% of 33.45%, implying that duties on each of the products will be reduced by a third for the importing countries.

“This will deepen the concessions being offered under this Agreement. Approval was also given to amend the preamble of APTA to effect accession of Mongolia as the 7th APTA Participating State,” the government said in a release.

APTA (formerly Bangkok agreement) is the only operational trade agreement linking India and China, two of the fastest-growing markets in the world. The two countries are separately negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement with 14 others.In the release, the government added that the Fourth Session of the Ministerial Council of APTA, which is scheduled to be held shortly, will formally implement all these decisions.

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