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List of Preferential Trade Agreements (FTA) in India | All you need to know

List of Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) 

Name – Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) (Bangladesh, China, India, Lao PDR, Republic of Korea, and Sri Lanka)

Date of Signing – July, 1975 (revised Agreement signed on 02.11.2005)

Date of Implementation – 01.11.1976

Details – APTA is a preferential trading arrangement designed to expand trade in goods progressively in Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP) region. Some of the key benefits include:

Job Creation and Economic Growth: Increased trade and economic integration fostered by APTA can contribute to job creation and overall economic growth in member countries. As trade barriers are reduced, businesses may expand operations, leading to increased employment opportunities.

Trade Facilitation: APTA includes measures to simplify and streamline customs procedures, reducing bureaucratic hurdles and making trade more efficient. This can lead to cost savings for businesses engaged in cross-border trade.

Market Access: Member countries gain improved access to each other's markets, which can result in expanded export opportunities for goods and services.


Name – Global System of Trade Preferences (G S T P) (Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Romania, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Tanzania, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yugoslavia, Zimbabwe)

Date of Signing – April, 1988

Date of Implementation – April,1989

Details – Under agreement establishing GSTP, tariff concessions are exchanged among developing countries, who have signed agreement. Presently, 46 countries are members of GSTP and India has exchanged tariff concessions with 12 countries on a limited number of products. Some more benefits include:

Preferential Tariff Treatment: GSTP provides preferential tariff treatment among member countries, allowing for reduced or eliminated tariffs on certain goods. This helps to facilitate trade and enhance market access for participating nations.

Expansion of Export Opportunities: The agreement opens up new export opportunities for member countries by providing more favourable trading conditions. This can be particularly beneficial for industries that rely on international trade.

Strengthening Regional Integration: By promoting trade and economic cooperation, GSTP contributes to the overall process of regional integration among participating nations.


Name – India – Afghanistan

Date of Signing – 06.03.2003

Date of Implementation – May, 2003

Details – A Preferential Trade Agreement between Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan and Republic of India was signed on 6.3.2003. EIC is sole agency to issue CoO under India Afghanistan Preferential Trade Agreement, benefits also include:

Job Creation: Increased trade can lead to the creation of jobs in industries involved in export and import activities.

Enhanced Market Access: The agreement may provide improved market access for goods and services from both countries, fostering increased trade volumes. 

Diversification of Trade: The agreement may encourage the diversification of products traded between the two countries, reducing dependence on specific sectors and promoting a more balanced trade relationship. 


Name – India – MERCOSUR

Date of Signing – 25.01.2004

Date of Implementation – 01.06.2009

Details – Through this PTA, India and MERCOSUR have agreed to give tariff concessions, ranging from 10% to 100% to each other on 450 and 452 tariff lines respectively. More benefits include:

Tariff Reduction: A PTA often involves the reduction or elimination of tariffs on certain goods traded between the participating countries. This can lead to cost savings for businesses and consumers.

Product Variety: Encourages a wider range of goods and services to be traded, reducing dependence on specific industries.

Predictability: The agreement establishes clear rules, providing stability for businesses and encouraging long-term partnerships.


Name – India – Chile

Date of Signing – 08.03. 2006

Date of Implementation – August, 2007

Details – Under this PTA, India has offered tariff preferences on 202 tariff lines at the 8 digit level to Chile with the margin of preference (MoP) ranging from 10% – 50% and Chile has offered tariff preferences on 296 tariff lines to India at the 8 digit level with MoP ranging from 10% – 100%. Benefits also include:

Promotion of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs): Includes provisions to support SMEs, making it easier for smaller businesses to engage in international trade.

Economic Growth and Development: By reducing trade barriers, a PTA can stimulate economic growth and development in both countries by promoting trade and investment.

Competitive Advantage: Businesses in both regions gain a competitive advantage by having preferential access to each other's markets, potentially attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) and fostering innovation.


Name – SAARC Preferential Trading Arrangement or SAPTA (India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan and the Maldives)

Date of Signing – 1993

Date of Implementation – 1995

Details – SAPTA was signed by seven SAARC members namely India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives in 1993 and came into operation in 1995. Four rounds of trade negotiations have been completed and more than 3000 tariff lines are under tariff concessions among SAARC countries. Some benefits are:

Tariff Reduction or Elimination: SAARC typically involves the reduction or elimination of tariffs on certain goods traded between the participating countries, leading to cost savings for businesses and consumers.

Strengthened Economic Cooperation: A Preferential Trade Agreement can foster broader economic cooperation between India and Chile, potentially extending beyond trade to areas such as investment, technology transfer, and collaboration in various sectors.

Cultural and People-to-People Ties: Enhanced economic ties contribute to better cultural and people-to-people connections between India and other South Asian Countries.


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