ESCAP/Caio Goncalves

After a long
journey of more than a decade, Mongolia has formally acceded
to the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) today. APTA
represents the first regional trade agreement of Mongolia
with developing countries.

Participation in APTA will
enable Mongolia to enjoy reduced tariff barriers as well as
enhance its market access to South, South-West and South
East Asia as well as to China, the country’s biggest
trading partner. It also provides Mongolia an opportunity to
upgrade its capacity in trade negotiation and development
and enhanced preparation for future negotiations with other
trading partners in regional trade agreements.

is the first expansion of APTA since China’s accession in
2001. It is an important milestone in the progress of APTA
towards becoming a contemporary regional agreement. Simple
and smooth implementation of APTA trade preferences
demonstrates its members’ commitment towards utilizing
trade for sustainable development. As the secretariat of
APTA, ESCAP will continue its support service for the
expansion of its membership and scope,” said United
Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of
ESCAP Ms. Armida Salsiah

“With its accession to the
Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement, Mongolia believes that this
will help the country to further expand its trade and
economic cooperation with the member nations, contribute to
diversification of its economy as well as more active
involvement in regional integration processes,” said H.E.
Mr. Tumur Amarsanaa, Ambassador of Mongolia to the Kingdom
of Thailand.

Established in 1975 under
the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia
and the Pacific (ESCAP), APTA is one of Asia’s oldest
regional trade agreements. By depositing the instrument of
accession, Mongolia will become the seventh member of the
Agreement, which includes China and five original members:
Bangladesh, India, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic,
the Republic of Korea and Sri Lanka.

APTA aims to
promote the economic development of its members through the
adoption of mutually beneficial trade liberalization
measures that contribute to regional trade expansion and
economic cooperation. Currently, the Agreement is under its
fifth round of negotiations to widen tariff preferences in
trade in goods and expand areas of liberalisation in
investment, services trade, and trade facilitation. It is
also continuously working on improving and modernizing its
Rules of origin for trade in goods.

Initiatives like
APTA pave the way for greater economic integration and
development among the region’s landlocked developing
countries (LLDCs). This heterogenous group of countries that
vary significantly in economic size, population size and
geographic features face deep structural impediments in
their pursuit of sustainable development.

forward, ESCAP will organize a hybrid workshop in Mongolia
on 12 October to support smooth implementation of APTA.
During the workshop, the overview and details of APTA will
be presented with member countries sharing experiences and

© Scoop Media