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Topic: South Asia Free Trade Agreement

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In the News (Tue 23 Apr 19)

  Asia Times Online - The best news coverage from South Asia
SAFTA, which was agreed during the recent South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) conference in Pakistan, promises to be a major milestone in South Asian trade relations.
Under the terms of the agreement, Pakistan and India will reduce their tariffs to 0-5 percent within seven years beginning in 2006, and the least developed countries (LDCs) are to reduce their tariffs to 0-5 percent in a period of 10 years in the same period.
Trade within the North American Free Trade Area is 49 percent, 78 percent in the European Union and 53 percent in the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations, which protects them from major shocks in other parts of the globe.
www.atimes.com /atimes/South_Asia/FA13Df04.html   (2185 words)

 Online edition of Daily News - News   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-04)
South Asian leaders ended their deliberations at the 12th SAARC Summit in Islamabad yesterday, vowing to develop their region through free trade, a comprehensive poverty alleviation drive and a firm commitment to regional peace.
The South Asia Free Trade Agreement, a Social Charter for poverty alleviation and a pledge by India and Pakistan to resume their peace dialogue were the highlights of the three-day Summit in the Pakistani capital.
The South Asia Free Trade Area agreement to reduce or eliminate tariffs by SAARC countries will come into force from 2006 and Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka will cut tariffs to between zero and five per cent within seven years of the start of the agreement.
www.dailynews.lk /2004/01/07/new11.html   (597 words)

 South Asia Free Trade Agreement   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-04)
Regional Trade Agreements can prove to be an engine for rapid trade integration and as a stepping-stone to a more active participation at the multilateral level.
While the announcement of South Asian governments to create a free trade area is laudable there are a number of hurdles to clear before it can have any meaningful impact.
But SAFTA can only succeed if governments provide the private sector a regulatory environment that facilitates the free flow of goods and services and nurtures and encourages private enterprise and entrepreneurship – both of which are not in short supply in the sub-continent.
www.cbcglobelink.org /cbcglobelink/events/SAFTA/index.htm   (531 words)

 Text of South Asian Free Trade Area (Safta) accord -DAWN - Top Stories; 07 January, 2004
The governments of the Saarc (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) member states comprising the People's Republic of Bangladesh, the Kingdom of Bhutan, the Republic of India, the Republic of Maldives, the Kingdom of Nepal, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka hereinafter referred to as "Contracting States".
The SMC shall be the highest decision-making body of Safta and shall be responsible for the administration and implementation of this Agreement and all decisions and arrangements made within its legal framework.
Any of the concessions agreed upon under this Agreement shall not be diminished or nullified, by the application of any measures restricting trade by the Contracting States, except under the provisions of other articles of this Agreement.
www.dawn.com /2004/01/07/top6.htm   (3965 words)

 South Asia Free Trade Agreement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Agreement on the South Asian Free Trade Area is an agreement reached at the 12th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit at Islamabad, capital of Pakistan on 6 January 2004.
SAFTA, came into being on 1 January 2006 and will be operational following the ratification of the agreement by the seven governments.
SAFTA requires the developing countries in South Asia, that is, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, to bring their duties down to 20 percent in the first phase of the two year period ending in 2007.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/South_Asia_Free_Trade_Agreement   (219 words)

 Plan to ensure gains from SAFTA
Despite confusi ons on some of the technical issues of the South Asia Free Trade Agreement the SAFTA became theoretically operative on January 1, 2006 as per declaration of the last SAARC summit.
The forging of SAFTA came partly from the fact that South Asia had been largely by-passed by the recent rapid growth of world trade including in neighbouring ASEAN countries.
Such kind of trade was only 7 percent in the ASEAN region before grouping, but it shot up to 43 per cent in 1995 and to 49 per cent in 2003.
nation.ittefaq.com /artman/publish/printer_24957.shtml   (402 words)

 SAFTA and the benefit of free trade
The US is optimistic that the nations of South Asia will exhibit the same spirit of cooperation that led to the signing of this important endeavour in 2004.
Under Jordan's free trade agreement with the US, its 2005 exports to the US are up 75 per cent since last year, accounting for millions of dollars in new exports and new jobs.
Governments linked by trade and investment are working more closely and accomplishing more than ever before on issues that affect the daily lives of their citizens.
www.rediff.com /money/2005/oct/29guest4.htm   (838 words)

 Epochtimes English Edition :: South Asian Countries to Establish Free Trade Area
The decision by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation to establish a free trade area in the region comes nearly two decades after the seven-member group was formed.
Trade among South Asian countries is now $4 billion, or five percent of the region's total trade.
Official trade between the two rivals is only $250 million, but illegal trade is estimated at $1.5 billion, nearly six times higher.
www.theepochtimes.com /news/4-1-11/18235.html   (397 words)

 South Asia nations agree on free trade
South Asia's foreign ministers agreed on three key pacts including a free trade agreement to be signed at a regional summit opening in Islamabad this weekend, setting a positive note ahead of the landmark seven-nation meeting.
Agreements on free trade, terrorism and a social charter top the agenda of the 12th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (Saarc), which groups Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Shashank said agreement was reached on an "additional protocol" to a 16-year-old anti-terrorism agreement, referring to an extra clause on choking terrorist funding.
www.freerepublic.com /focus/f-news/1050671/posts   (679 words)

 Regular T&SD News from South Asia   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-04)
South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment (SAWTEE), Kathmandu and CENTAD (Centre for Trade and Development), an Oxfam GB Initiative, New Delhi; jointly organized a three-day regional training seminar for South Asian journalists called ‘Road to Hong Kong’ from 11-13 July 2005 in Pokhara, Nepal.
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is set to miss the deadline to finalize the regional free trade area accord: South Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA).
Within South Asia, Nepal, which had benefited tremendously from the quota regime, does not qualify for this concession and is thus facing a major setback to its economy.
www.sdpi.org /tkn/trade_and_s_d.htm   (7086 words)

The South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), signed on Jan.6, 2004 during the 12th SAARC Summit held at Islamabad, is a free trade agreement between the seven SAARC members — India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives.
The pact holds huge potential for intra-regional trade growth as over 90% of the imports by South Asian countries are being sourced from outside the region and a major part of exports of South Asia are made to countries that are not part of the group.
Allaying fears that free trade agreement could hurt smaller countries of SAARC, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on November 17 said implementation of South Asian Free Trade Agreement is expected to enhance trade in the region to 14 billion dollars from six billion in the next two years.
www.saag.org /papers17/paper1653.html   (1759 words)

 Free trade agreement with India? -DAWN - Business; November 18, 2002
When India realised that the SAFTA which it had been backing for long, was not coming through it came up with the Gujral doctrine - named after former prime minister Inder Gujral - to sign free trade agreements with other countries than Pakistan in the Saarc region.
Evidently other countries are not too ready to jump into free trade deals quick as the less developed countries have their own nascent industries to protect and employment to safeguard.
Three countries with which we are negotiating free trade are interested in exporting more of their tea to Pakistan, which Kenya has been almost monopolizing for long now because of the control of tea gardens there by the Unilever.
www.dawn.com /2002/11/18/ebr20.htm   (1037 words)

 USAID India : Newsroom - Speeches - Deputy Chief of Mission Robert Blake At the Opening Reception of the “South Asian ...
SAFTA analyses demonstrate that there is considerable potential to increase trade between India and Pakistan, with more investment further raising the opportunities for complementary trade.
The lessons of other regional trade agreements make it clear that the hoped-for benefits from the agreement itself will not be realized unless trade facilitation measures are vigorously implemented.
Increasing trade and investment in the region should reap economic benefits for citizens in all participating countries and further cement the growing partnerships between the United States and the countries of South Asia.
www.usaid.gov /in/newsroom/speeches/oct24s_5.htm   (2046 words)

The trade balance in favour of India declined from 15:1 in 1998 to 4:1 in 2004.
The Sri Lankan experience also shows that trading in South Asia cannot be confined to a particular framework like SAPTA or the forthcoming SAFTA if they are weak, slow moving and vulnerable to the fluctuating politics of South Asia.
If however SAFTA is to make an impact, it should prove within its first two years of operation that unlike SAPTA it could withstand political shocks and move forward to facilitate trade and investment in the region.
www.dailynews.lk /2006/01/09/fea01.htm   (815 words)

 SAFTA dominates agenda of SAARC foreign secretaries meet - Irna
Implementation of South Asia Free Trade Area Agreement (SAFTA) and associating some other countries with South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) topped the agenda of the meeting of foreign secretaries of the seven-nation grouping in Dhaka, capital city of Bangladesh, on Wednesday.
Despite SAFTA coming into force on July 1, Pakistan had notified that the agreed tariff concessions under the trade agreement were 'subject to import policy notified by the Ministry of Commerce'.
India had taken strong objection to Pakistan attaching conditionalities to trade with it under SAFTA and said Islamabad's action was against the essence of the Agreement and 'contradict the commitment' made by the leaders at the 13th SAARC Summit in Dhaka in November last.
www.irna.ir /en/news/view/menu-234/0608025322183045.htm   (514 words)

 Pakistan Times | Business: South Asian leaders sign agreement on Free Trade in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: South Asian leaders wrote a new chapter in the region's history on Tuesday by signing a framework agreement on free trade that will open up new avenues of economic cooperation to benefit of over 1.4 billion people.
The South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) that was recommended by the foreign ministers of seven member states was inked during the concluding session of the 12th SAARC Summit.
Political and economic experts across South Asia widely blamed the failure on the absence of requisite stable security environment and political disputes in the region.
pakistantimes.net /2004/01/07/business.htm   (260 words)

 [No title]   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-04)
Sources say after July 2006, when South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) came into effect, India’s Bajaj Auto in collaboration with Pakistan’s Saigol Group was supposed to formally execute their production plans, but unclear policy about investment by India and Pakistan in each other country sidelined the two players.
He said though the seven signatory states of SAFTA implemented the first downward revision in tariffs from July 1, 2006, Pakistan and India had not yet allowed each other to be facilitated under each clause of the accord.
Pakistan with six other South Asian states entered into SAFTA on July 1, 2006, which binds the developing members including Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka to cut tariffs to between zero and five per cent within seven years from the start of the agreement.
www.thenews.com.pk /print1.asp?id=29038   (533 words)

On 6 January, seven countries from the South Asian region agreed on a free trade agreement.
The foreign ministers of the seven countries in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) signed the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) on 6 January at their 12th summit in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Democratic governance, free trade and combating terrorism topped the agenda of the Special Summit of the Americas, which took place from 12-13 January 2004 in Monterrey, Mexico.
www.ictsd.org /biores/04-01-22/story2.htm   (467 words)

 DW-WORLD.DE - South Asian Journalists Want Free Movement
A summit of journalists from member nations Friday urged South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation to adopt its proposal for free movement of media-people and media-products across the region.
It hoped that the 13th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka would focus on improving ties, implementing the South Asia Free Trade Area agreement and the policy of free flow of information in the region.
It welcomed the holding of the 13th SAARC Summit at Dhaka and hoped that all technical problems regarding a regional free trade zone would be resolved by implementing the Islamabad agreement.
www2.dw-world.de /southasia/bangladesh/1.161100.1.html   (652 words)

 South Asian Media Net   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-04)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has decided not to include Afghanistan into the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (Safta) under which trade among the member states of the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) has kicked off from July 1, 2006, a senior government official told The News.
Afghanistan was extended the Saarc membership in the grouping’s last summit held in Dhaka in November 2005 and Pakistan had endorsed the decision to extend Saarc membership to Afghanistan.
As far as transit of Indian goods to Afghanistan (in case Kabul is included in Safta) is concerned, the minister said Pakistan is sensitive to this issue.
www.southasianmedia.net /index_story.cfm?id=313891&category=Frontend&Country=MAIN   (433 words)

 Pak stubborn on MFN: South Asia : Hindustan Times.com   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-04)
This despite the recent ratification of the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA).
Since Pakistan trades with India on the basis of a positive list, it disallows import of all items that are not on the list.
While, India actively pursues trading and commercial relations vis-à-vis other nations, Pakistan sees it as another attempt by New Delhi to be the hegemon in the South Asian region.
www.hindustantimes.com /news/7598_1740281,000500020009.htm   (522 words)

 The Daily Star Web Edition Vol. 5 Num 423   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-04)
He also underscore the point that, as the trade liberalisation process begins, the Saarc countries have to ensure that the Safta does not suffer the same fate as the preceding South Asia Preferential Trade Agreement (Sapta).
The Safta was inked in January 2004 at the 12th Saarc Summit in Islamabad.
The South Asia Centre for Policy Studies (Saceps), a regional think-tank, in co-operation with the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), the premier think-tank of Bangladesh, organised the seminar on 'Promoting Regional Co-operation in South Asia: Issues for the Dhaka Saarc Summit' at Brac Centre Inn auditorium.
www.thedailystar.net /2005/08/04/d5080401095.htm   (642 words)

 The Hindu : Opinion / News Analysis : India-Pakistan trade stuck on SAFTA
Pakistan, a signatory of the South Asia Free Trade Agreement, which went operational on July 1, has said that with India, it will implement the agreement only in line with its existing bilateral trade policy.
Underlying Pakistan's refusal to do so is the argument that liberalisation of trade has to be linked to progress on resolution of long-standing disputes between the two countries, the "core" issue being that of Kashmir.
For sure, the paper argues that trade liberalisation is not a one-way street and points to tariff and non-tariff barriers in India that discourage Pakistani exporters, despite India having given the MFN status to Pakistan as far back as 1996.
www.hindu.com /2006/07/31/stories/2006073101901100.htm   (696 words)

 News   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-04)
He said that Pakistan had initiated trade negotiations with the US during a visit of President Musharraf in 2004 to finalise Pak-US bilateral investment agreement.
He said SAFTA was not delayed and was being implemented as per the agreement.
Referring to domestic commerce, Humayun Akhtar said that a trade survey report was being prepared to assess the obstacles in the way of trading.
www.pakistanlink.com /Headlines/Jan06/29/09.htm   (385 words)

 South Asia Free Trade Agreement (2004)
Recognizing that it is necessary to progress beyond a Preferential Trading Arrangement to move towards higher levels of trade and economic cooperation in the region by removing barriers to cross-border flow of goods;
This mechanism and its rules and regulations shall be established prior to the commencement of the Trade Liberalisation Programme (TLP).
Notwithstanding the supercession of SAPTA by this Agreement, the concessions granted under the SAPTA Framework shall remain available to the Contracting States until the completion of the Trade Liberalisation Programme.
www.bilaterals.org /article.php3?id_article=116   (4036 words)

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