Commerce Secys meet fails to clinch agreement on SAFTA
The two-day special meeting of Commerce Secretaries of the SAARC countries ended in Islamabad on Wednesday without clinching an agreement.india Updated: Dec 29, 2003 15:12 IST
The two-day special meeting of Commerce Secretaries of the SAARC countries ended in Islamabad on Wednesday without clinching an agreement to finalise the draft of the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA).
It has now been decided that the contentious issues would be forwarded to the SAARC Foreign Ministers meeting which would be held in Islamabad on Jan 2 ahead of the regional summit, official sources said.
The Commerce Secretaries made "reasonable progress" on the draft agreement of SAFTA but failed to clinch agreement on it, they said.
The Indian delegation at the conference was headed by Commerce Secretary, Dipak Chaterjee.
"There are still many differences among the member states in the way of evolving consensus on the Trade Free Agreement among the member states," state run APP news agency quoted officials as saying.
The meeting failed to finalise the deal as Bangladesh, which categorised itself as the Least Developed Country (LDC) opposed many issues pertaining to anti dumping, quota safeguards, concessions and the time frame in the draft agreement.
First Published: Dec 29, 2003 13:00 IST