The cabinet on Monday approved a proposal for ratification of the Second Amendment to the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement, a preferential trade deal among countries of the Asia-Pacific region, rearranging tariff regime for its member countries.
The commerce ministry placed the proposal in the weekly cabinet meeting in Cabinet Room of Jatiya Sangsad with prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
‘Bangladesh as per the second amendment to the agreement would now get duty facilities for 10,677 items instead of 4,648 items to APTA countries including China, India and South Korea,’ cabinet division secretary for coordination and reforms NM Ziaul Alam told a press briefing at the secretariat.
He said that Bangladesh would be able to enjoy duty-free facilities with a range of five per cent to 100 per cent for export of 3,381 items to India, 2,372 to China and 3,757 to South Korea among other countries under the amended APTA, now a seven-member forum.
The cabinet on December 26, 2016 endorsed a draft of the Second Amendment to the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement to incorporate Mongolia as a member of the six-member forum that included Bangladesh, India, China, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Laos and to rearrange the tariff regime under the agreement, according to officials.
APTA, previously known as Bangkok Agreement, was signed in 1975 while it was renamed in 2005.
Being the oldest preferential trade agreement among developing countries in Asia-Pacific, APTA aims to promote economic development through the adoption of mutually beneficial trade liberalisation measures.
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