Agreement on South Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA)
The Agreement on South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) was signed by all the member States of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) during the twelfth ‘SAARC Summit’ held in Islamabad on 4-6th January, 2004. As a result, SAFTA came into force from 1st January, 2006.
SAARC was established in Dhaka on December 7-8, 1985 with the objectives of:- promoting the welfare of people of South Asia; accelerating economic growth and social progress; promoting active collaboration in economic growth and social progress; promoting active collaboration in the economic, social, cultural, technical and scientific fields; strengthening cooperation in international forums on matters of common interest; and cooperating with international and regional organizations with similar aims and purposes. Its members include Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA)
The Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), formerly known as the Bangkok Agreement, was signed on 31st of July 1975 as an initiative of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is the regional development arm of the United Nations for the Asia-Pacific region. It focuses on issues that are most effectively addressed through regional cooperation and include:-
Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation between India and the Association of South East Asian Nations
India’s engagement with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) started with its “Look East Policy” in the year 1991. India’s focus on a strengthened and multi-faceted relationship with it is an outcome of ASEAN’s economic, political and strategic importance in the larger Asia-Pacific Region and its potential to become a major partner of India in trade and investment. Also, it now provides a land bridge for India to connect with the Asia-Pacific-centred economic crosscurrents shaping the 21st century market place. While, ASEAN seeks access to India’s professional and technical strengths. India and ASEAN have convergence in their security perspectives.
ASEAN was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok by the five original member countries, namely, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Now, it has a membership of 10 countries namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. India is one of the four ‘Summit level Dialogue Partners’ of ASEAN.
India And Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA)
The Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between India and Singapore were launched on 27th May 2003 in New Delhi.It was the first comprehensive trade agreement India signed with any trade partner and was aimed at facilitating trade in goods and services and investment between the two countries.
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