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APTA Ministerial Council tomorrow

DHAKA, Jan 12, 2017 (BSS) - Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) Ministerial Council would be held tomorrow in Thailand's capital of Bangkok aiming to boost trade among the member countries.

Commerce Minister of six member countries would take part in the council. Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed is scheduled to chair the council, said an official release today.

Apart from Bangladesh, India, China, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Laos are the member countries of APTA. The commerce minister is also leading a six-member Bangladeshi delegation.

The member countries have completed three rounds of negotiation, of which last was taken place in 2006.

The ministerial council would adopt fourth-round of negotiation. If the fourth-round is implemented, Bangladesh would get 5-100 percent duty facilities to 11,502 products from the existing 4,648 products.

Besides, footnote would be amended in the council for the implementation of the Rule of Origin of APTA agreement.

Bangladesh is expecting to expand its export market after the fourth-round.

The Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), previously known as the Bangkok Agreement and renamed in November 2, 2005, was signed in 1975.

It is the oldest preferential trade agreement between countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The APTA pact does occupy market for 2921.2 million people and the size of this big market accounts US$14615.86 billion in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015-2016.

APTA's key objective is to hasten economic development among the six participating states opting trade and investment liberalization measures that will contribute to intra-regional trade and economic strengthening through the coverage of merchandise goods and services, synchronized investment regime and free flow of technology transfer making all the Participating States to be in equally winsome situation.

It also aims to promote economic development and cooperation through the adoption of trade liberalization measures.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)