The APTA (formerly the Bangkok Agreement) was colored in 1975 and is the oldest preferential trade pact between Asia-Pacific countries. APTA is an initiative of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) to increase trade through the exchange of tariff concessions between members of developing countries. The fourth round of negotiations will focus on areas that go beyond traditional tariff concessions in order to deepen trade policy cooperation and integration. APTA members are currently negotiating three framework agreements on trade facilitation, trade in services and investment. In addition, APTA members exchange information on non-tariff measures. “RCEP signatories will begin negotiations with India at any time after the RCEP agreement is signed, as soon as India has submitted a written application for membership of the RCEP agreement, taking into account India`s most recent status of participation in the RCEP negotiations and any further developments thereafter,” said the RCEP, made up of 10 ASEAN members. , as well as Australia, China, Japan and South Korea. The China-backed group is expected to reach at least 30% of global GDP and become the world`s largest free trade agreement. “We have all made difficult compromises to move the negotiations forward. And we will have to work hard to convince our citizens that the RCEP will benefit them,” Lee said. Fifteen Asia-Pacific countries, including China but without India, signed the world`s largest trade agreement, the Global Regional Economic Partnership (RCEP), on Sunday in the hope that it will help them recover from the shocks of the Covid 19 pandemic. Malaysian Trade Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said on the eve of the summit: “After eight years of negotiations of blood, sweat and tears, we are finally at the point where we will seal the RCEP agreement this Sunday.” “The conclusion of the RCEP negotiations, the world`s largest free trade agreement, will send a strong message of ASEAN`s leading role in supporting the multilateral trading system and will help create a new trade structure in the region,” said VNA Phuc.
Read also: Asia forms the world`s largest trading bloc, a Group supported by China, without the United States. Members of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) also pledged to expand cooperation on foreign direct investment and trade facilitation. A framework agreement on trade in services has also been finalised and will be signed.