The South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) was agreed to among the seven South Asia countries that form the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC): Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
SAFTA came into effect on 1 January 2006, with the aim of reducing tarrifs for intraregional trade among the seven SAARC members. Pakistan and India are to complete implementation by 2012, Sri Lanka by 2013 and Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives and Nepal by 2015.
SAFTA replaces the earlier South Asia Preferential Trade Agreement (SAPTA) and may eventually lead to a full-fledged South Asia Economic Union.
The road to implementation, however, is plagued by the overarching conflict between India and Pakistan.
last update: May 2012
Photo: Serg!o/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0
Pakistan has ratified the much-trumpeted South Asia Free Trade Agreement (Safta), but trade between India and Pakistan will not be initiated under this agreement, instead it will continue under the existing import regime.
All trade agreements may fumble in delivering results if they take effect prior to completion of all modalities and arrangements, which are to govern and ease trade between the signatory countries. But both the South Asian Preferential Trade Agreement (SAPTA) and its successor agreement on free trade — South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) — were signed before completing these essential formalities
The Pakistani cabinet approved a regional pact on Wednesday to promote free trade and economic ties in South Asia, home to nearly one-fifth of the world’s population.
THE SOUTH Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) has come into force with effect from January 1. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) which consists of seven countries, namely, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, is expected to start implementing SAFTA from June - July this year.
Pakistan is likely to stay away from the South Asian Free Trade Area (Safta) to avoid its political fallout on the country’s principled stand on Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
Will the seven countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) be able to sink some of their deep differences over political issues to enhance trade relations?
South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA), paving way for free trade of goods among countries of the region, came into being on Sunday but Pakistan was yet to complete the formality of ratifying it.
With three days left to meet the deadline, the trade under South Asia Free Trade Agreement (Safta) among the Saarc counties from January 1, next year is in doldrums as Sri Lanka says it will ratify Safta draft some time in April next year.
India and Pakistan will be able to trade directly without the help of third-country destinations once the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) comes into force from January 1.
Both government and private sector are showing lackluster preparation for implementing the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), even as the date is approaching for the formal enforcement of the agreement in Nepal.
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) comprises the seven South Asian countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka