The Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), previously known as the Bangkok Agreement, and renamed on 2 November 2005, was signed in 1975. It is the oldest preferential trade agreement between countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Seven participating States – Bangladesh, China, the Democratic People`s Republic of Laos, India, Mongolia, the Republic of Korea and Sri Lanka – are the parties to APTA. The APTA pact occupies the market of 2921.2 million people  and the size of this large market represents 14615.86 billion dollars in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) in the 2015-2016 fiscal year.  The main objective of APTA is to accelerate economic development among the seven Participating Countries that opt for trade and investment liberalization measures that contribute to economic trade and strengthening through the coverage of goods and services, a synchronized investment regime and free transfer of technology, which allows all participating States to participate in an economic situation. The aim is to promote economic development and cooperation by adopting trade liberalization measures. APTA is open to all members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, which is the secretariat of APTA. APTA members are currently participating in the fourth round of tariff concessions, which is expected to be completed in October 2009.  In June 2016, it was reported that the Indian government wants to expand its trade relations with its neighbors by exchanging tariff concessions under the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), a lesser-known but very old trade agreement. In September 2016, the cabinet approved these concessions. Guidelines for preferential trade agreements, such as the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement, are drafted and implemented by Indian trade officers selected by the Civil Service Review. You oversee trade and export management activities with the help of other All India and Central Services such as IAS, IRS and IFS. UPSC aspirants should read About India`s free trade agreements as part of the Political Science and International Relations program for Main.
These agreements are also part of the IAS Current Affairs program with respect to economics and international relations for General Studies in Prelims and Main. APTA is considered part of India`s free trade agreements, although it is not a full-fledged free trade agreement. It is a preferential trade agreement covering certain tariff lines. However, almost all APTA goods are preferred by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs. The list of products covered by Indian Customs customs concessions is continuously updated during the negotiations. Certain products may be added by negotiation or withdrawn in accordance with the anti-dumping and countervailing rules in force. UNSCAP serves as the secretariat for the Asia-Pacific trade agreement and helps identify potential members who could participate in the agreement without negatively impacting their economies. UNSCAP also facilitates the negotiation of terms among participating countries. The fourth round of negotiations among APTA members is ongoing and covers areas that go beyond traditional tariff concessions. The APTA is considered one of the most important trade agreements in the world, as it is the only trade agreement directly linking India and China.