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SAFTA

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


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Trade through SAFTA demanded
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Dhaka decides to protest Delhi’s anti-dumping investigation
Dhaka has decided to protest the New Delhi’s action relating to allegation of dumping jute goods and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) by Bangladesh, officials have said.
Sitharaman bats for early implementation of SAFTA
Commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman made a strong pitch for greater integration of the South Asian region, even as she underscored the need for speedy implementation of the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (Safta) agreement.
India’s act ‘breaches’ int’l conventions, agreements
Experts have termed India’s unofficial trade blockade on Nepal as a breach of international conventions and multilateral agreements that both Nepal and India have signed.
Regional integration, private sector to help South Asia boost growth: Report
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Afraid of free trade
Diplomacy in South Asia is given over to give-no-quarter bureaucrats, who cleave to a nationalism that continues to trump economics.
Second largest SAARC partner hungry for Lankan exports, FTA trade
Sri Lanka’s second largest trade partner in SAARC, Pakistan, is hungry for more Lankan exports in the coming year-while also closely looking at Sri Lanka’s sugar sector for entry.

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  • SAARC Secretariat
    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