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South Asian Free Trade Area

Area of Cooperation

Goods (No provisions for coverage of agricultural goods) Government Procurement, Investment, Competition Policy, Intellectual Property, Dispute Settlement, Trade Facilitation, Labor Mobility

Sign Date

January 1, 2004

In Force Date

January 1, 1970


Introduced at the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit, the South Asian Free Trade Area created a free trading zone that reaches 1.4 billion people.   The SAFTA contains zero customs duty on practically all products.



                                                               i.      Regional (ESCAP)

Rules of Origin

                                                               i.      Minimum content 40% (30% for LDC's)

                                                             ii.      Diagonal cumulation


                                                               i.         Anti - Dumping : Special treatment to LDC's

                                                             ii.         Countervailing Duties : Special treatment to LDC's

                                                            iii.         Safeguards : Allowed, maximum 3 years


                                                               i.      “Regionalism Debate: Re-positioning SAFTA”                http://www.southasianmedia.net/Magazine/Journal/7_regionalism_debate.htm

                                                             ii.      “Towards a Free Trade Area in South Asia: Charting A Feasible Course for Trade Liberalization with Reference to India’s Role”                                                

                                                            iii.      “Informal and Free Trade Agreements”                                                                                  http://www.southasianmedia.net/Magazine/Journal/informal_freetrade.htm

                                                           iv.      “Charting a Free Trade Area in South Asia: Instruments and Modalities”                                http://www.saneinetwork.net/pdf/SANEI_I/3.pdf

                                                             v.      “SAARC secretaries for removal of trade barriers”         http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007%5C10%5C07%5Cstory_7-10-2007_pg5_4

                                                           vi.      “Government announces tariff reductions”                        

                                                          vii.      India to make long-conceived SAFTA operational”  

                                                        viii.      Delhi’s duty-free offer”                                     

                                                           ix.      “Roundtable on SAFTA starts”                              http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007%5C04%5C18%5Cstory_18-4-2007_pg5_13

                                                             x.      “SAFTA roundtable urges removal of tariff, non-tariff barriers for promotion of trade”                               http://www.app.com.pk/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=7901&Itemid=2

                                                           xi.      “South Asian Countries commit to facilitating intra-regional trading”                         http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-04/04/content_5935419.htm

                                                          xii.      “Tariff concession change to hurt SAFTA: minister”      http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007%5C03%5C02%5Cstory_2-3-2007_pg5_1

                                                        xiii.      India concerned about Pakistan’s violation of SAFTA agreement”  http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2006%5C12%5C13%5Cstory_13-12-2006_pg7_11

Additional Links

                                                               i.      http://www.bilaterals.org/article.php3?id_article=116

                                                             ii.      http://www.saarc-sec.org/main.php?t=2.1.6

                                                            iii.      2nd Meeting of SAFTA Ministerial Council