Member's Area
Indian Ocean Rim Association
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Preferential Trade Agreement

PREFERENTIAL TRADE AGREEMENT (PTA)

Some time back a proposal was made by Sri Lanka to have a Preferential Trade Agreement for the region.  It was envisaged that the implementation of such an arrangement would assist in bringing about immense benefits to Member States by way of removing trade/tariff barriers, thereby expanding the total volume of the value of trade flows among Member States.

Essentially, the proposed implementation of the PTA is to promote Economic Development through a continuous process of Trade Expansion among Member States.  Such an arrangement is aimed at expanding Short and Medium Term Trade and Investment Opportunities within the region, ensuring Preferential Market Access with the effective relaxation of tariffs and the dismantling of Non Tariff Barriers (NTBs).

A Concept Paper on the feasibility of establishing a PTA and Draft Framework Agreement on the PTA were prepared and a Core Group comprising the following Member States namely, I.R. of Iran, Kenya, Mauritius, Sultanate of Oman, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Yemen was formed, to look into the study.

In order to ensure success of the PTA, within the framework of an ever changing global economic environment and in particular the WTO agreement, it was deemed essential to have a considerable margin of tariff concessions to cover a wide array of products that Member States may agree upon.  Further, it would be concluded that the larger membership of the agreement would enhance complementary treatments in trade and economic co-operation among the Member States.

While some Member States may not be in a position to express support at this stage, those interested Member States were encouraged to continue negotiations to find "Common Ground" for an agreement that would promote trade amongst themselves.