Trade Swap

June 08 (LBO) – The Asia Pacific Trade Agreement between six Asia Pacific countries including Sri Lanka will kick off on July 1 this year, offering deep tariff cuts on several goods.

Sri Lanka will enjoy margins of preference of up to 50 percent on goods like coconut products, spices, tea and rubber to Bangladesh, China, India, Laos and Korea.

The trade deal, formerly called the Bangkok Agreement, covers 4857 tariff lines between the countries, Sri Lanka™s Department of Commerce said in a notice on Thursday.

The third round of talks held between the countries in 2004, agreed to offer member countries up to 50 percent margin of preference on tariffs on agreed items.

These also include special concessions on 587 tariff lines for Least Developed Countries (LDC) like Bangladesh. Some countries like India however, have offered up to 100 percent on some items.

Some goods under the Asia Pacific trade deal however, are also included under existing free trade agreements like the Indo-Lanka FTA, with exporters having to work out the best offer.

The APTA member countries cover a total population of about 2.5 billion, which is a vast potential market to in