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South Asia Free Trade Agreement

As Pak finally relents, MFN to boost India ties
Pakistan on Wednesday approved a proposal granting India the status of “most favoured nation” which would pave the way for direct import and export of goods and services. Textile, automobile and auto component trade through the land route with easier tariffs and quota restrictions are a distinct possibility.
Pakistan improves offer, but still no MFN status to India
Pakistan is ready to double the number of goods it imports from India, but has stopped short of offering full-fledged most-favoured nation, or MFN, status it had promised earlier this year as part of bilateral confidence-building measures.
BD wants duty-free access of all products to Indian market
Bangladesh has sought duty-free access of all its products to the Indian market to bring down the trade gap between the two neighbouring countries, Commerce Minister Faruk Khan said.
Now, a South Asia Forum to boost Saarc
The last summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc), last month in Thimphu, had mandated creation of a South Asia Forum, consisting of diverse stakeholders from all member-countries to generate ideas to further links. This is now taking shape.
For harnessing South Asia’s trade potential
The South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) has so far been long on promises but short on actions. It was envisaged to raise inter-regional trade in South Asia - which is one of the world’s least economically integrated regions - to $40 billion by 2015 from $11bn in 2007, shortly after it was agreed. But that now clearly remains a very tall promise.
Nepal: Bilateral trade talks with Bhutan on Tuesday
Nepal and Bhutan are holding bilateral trade talks in Bhutanese capital city Thimpu on Tuesday in order to promote bilateral trade between the two landlocked countries in South Asia.
SAARC Chamber vows to promote trade
All members of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAARC CCI) unanimously resolved to promote trade and strengthen economic ties besides accelerating the developmental activities among member countries.
India-Pakistan trade talks tomorrow
On the eve of India-Pakistan trade talks, New Delhi on Tuesday said “possible doables” to upgrade bilateral economic engagement would be clear after the Commerce Secretaries complete their discussion in Islamabad.
Nepal to reduce sensitive list under SAFTA
Nepal is proposing removal of about 260 items from existing sensitive list of goods for imports at the upcoming meeting of South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) scheduled to be held in the last week of March in Kathmandu.
Negative list of SAFTA comprises 53pc of total regional trade India’s tariff, non-tariff barriers restrict trade in South Asia
The negative list of South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) comprises 53 per cent of the total trade between the regional countries, therefore, fully implementation on the agreement would not even yield the desired results, a senior official said on Tuesday.
Pakistan needs to meet SAFTA provisions: Indian envoy
Pakistan does not keep in line with the provisions of South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) concerning imports from India, said Sharat Sabharwal, High Commissioner of India during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Wednesday.
Services to be liberalised
If entering into trade agreements is opening up the floodgates to bigger countries, then some in Sri Lanka do not want the flood-gates opened to India, but the government has already done so, for seven other countries besides India. CEPA is carved in stone, some claim, but it is far from reality
South Asia Agreement on Trade: 7 countries to ehance trade in services
South Asia Agreement on Trade in Services among seven South Asian countries including Pakistan and India is expected to end by the end of 2010, official sources informed Daily Times on Monday.
India to play a proactive role in SAARC
Economic integration of all the eight South Asian countries posses a challenge to the political leaders of the region. Though South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) was operationalised from July 2006 the intra regional trade increased at a snail space from 3.2% in 1980s to only 5.5% in 2008, which is far below when compared with 58% in NAFTA, 54% in European Union, 25% in ASEAN and 22% in COMESA.
Eastern promises
When the Rubber Bill (intended to amend the Rubber Act, 1947) was presented in Parliament on August 7, the Opposition did not let it through. The reason was, it was presented by Prithviraj Chavan, minister of state for parliamentary affairs, and not any minister of commerce and industry, which is the ministry concerned.
Countries should be allowed to withdraw agreements
South Asian Economists and Academics said that integrating the region through services liberalization would require a flexible approach that permits special and differential treatment of least developed countries in the region and also of countries least prepared to open up their services for trade.
SAARC in negotiations to liberalise trade in services
South Asia has commenced negotiations in to incorporating trade in services to the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) but a lack of data could slow things down, a senior Economist said.
NTBs, bureaucratic procedures real impediments to SAFTA
“Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) and bureaucratic procedures are real impediments to the implementation of SAFTA in true perspective therefore the Governments of the respective countries of the region need to enter into policy implementation phase instead of policy formulation”.
Extend Kashmir initiative to Pakistan, Bangladesh
For the first time in 60 years, 30 trucks rolled across the Line of Control in Kashmir on Tuesday, carrying mostly fruit and vegetables. It is a small beginning but a very significant one. More trucks will run regularly on routes between Srinagar and Muzafarrabad and between Poonch and Rawalakote.
WB opposes signing bilateral FTA’s: Dhaka fails to narrow trade gap with SAARC states
Opposition from World Bank keeps Bangladesh away from signing bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with SAARC member countries, a top official of the Commerce Ministry said yesterday.