SAFTA member countries urged to progressively liberalise their trade and investment policies to strengthen the overall trade and commerce

The main items of exports under South Asian Free Trade Area Agreement (SAFTA) are Cotton Yarns, Pharmaceuticals, Leather, Chemicals, Footwear Sole, Polished Granite Slabs, Green Marbles, Raw Jute, Steel Billets, Non-Alloy Steel, Groundnut and Dry Coconut. The main items of imports under SAFTA are Metalifers Ores & Metal Scrap, Fruits and Nuts excluding Cashew Nuts, Non-Ferrous Metals, Spices, Cotton Yarn and Fabrics, Readymade Garments(woven & knit), Cement, Transport Equipments and Petroleum, Crude& Products.

The Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S), Kolkata which is the pioneer official organization for collection , compilation and dissemination of India™s trade Statistics and Commercial information does not publish the State-of-origin-wise export data .

India has reduced its Sensitive List for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) from 480 items to 25 items and granted zero basic customs duty access on all the items removed vide notification no. 99/2011-Customs dated 09.11.2011. Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives and Nepal are the LDCs. It has also reduced peak tariff rate to 8% for Non-Least Developed Countries (NLDCs) under SAFTA, vide notification no. 125/2011-Customs dated 30.12.2011. India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are the NLDCs. Other SAFTA member countries are being urged at both the bilateral and multi-lateral levels, to progressively liberalise their trade and investment policies, so that overall trade and commerce is strengthened amongst all SAFTA members.

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