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The Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) signed on 31st of July 1975 was initiated by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and was formerly known as the ‘Bangkok Agreement’.
APTA agreement is the First Agreement signed for negotiating on terms of trade among the developing member countries of ESCAP. Preferential tariff arrangement aim to promote intra-regional trade through exchange of mutually agreed concessions by the members (developing country) of the ESCAP region.
APTA is a preferential trading arrangement to liberalize and expand trade progressively in the ESCAP region through relaxation of tariff and non-tariff barriers and trade-related economic cooperation.
The Agreement was signed by Bangladesh, India, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the Republic of Korea and Sri Lanka.
The agreement aims at promoting economic development through expansion of trade among the developing member countries of ESCAP and to foster international economic cooperation by adopting mutually beneficial trade liberalization measures consistent with their respective present and future development and trade needs.
The Agreement shall be based on overall reciprocity and mutuality of advantages in such a way as to benefit equitably all participating States. The trade relations among the Participating States should follow the principle of transparency, national treatment and most-favored-nation treatment.
The special needs of least developed country Participating States shall be taken care of.