The participating States agree to consider extending special tariff and non-tariff preferences for products contained in industrial cooperation and joint venture agreements in other productive sectors concluded between some or all ESCAP developing countries and/or with the participation of other ESCAP developing countries, which serves only the countries participating in such agreements or projects. 1999. The provisions relating to such agreements or undertakings shall be laid down in protocols which shall enter into force for the participating States concerned, after the Standing Committee has declared their compatibility with this Agreement. Preferences granted under the APTA may overlap with the separate FSQD regimes of China, India and the Republic of Korea, as well as preferences under the SAFTA, ASEAN-China, ASEAN-India and the ASEAN Republic of Korea regional trade agreements. APTA is an initiative of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNCAP) to increase trade through the exchange of tariff concessions between developing country members of the Asia-Pacific region and which have existed since 1975. This is a preferential trade agreement that expands the basket and volume of tariff concessions during the trade negotiations that have been initiated from time to time. The fourth round of negotiations will focus on areas that go beyond traditional tariff concessions to deepen trade cooperation and integration. APTA members are currently negotiating three framework agreements on trade facilitation, trade in services and investment. In addition, APTA members exchange information on non-tariff measures.
With the implementation of the fourth round of concessions, the coverage of preferences of all tariff headings for each member would be 10,677 tariff lines (from 4,270 items at the end of the third round) and would deepen to 31.52 percent the average preferential margin (MoP) granted under the agreement, the statement said. Any disputes which may arise between the participating States concerning the interpretation and application of the provisions of this Agreement or of an instrument adopted within its framework shall be settled amicably by an agreement between the Parties concerned. In the event that the participating States do not settle a dispute between them, the dispute shall be referred to the Standing Committee for settlement. The Standing Committee shall examine the matter and make a recommendation thereon within 120 days of the date on which the dispute was submitted to it. The Standing Committee shall adopt appropriate provisions to this end. The Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), previously known as the Bangkok Agreement, and renamed on 2 November 2005, was signed in 1975. It is the oldest preferential trade agreement between countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Seven participating States – Bangladesh, China, the Democratic People`s Republic of Laos, India, Mongolia, the Republic of Korea and Sri Lanka – are the parties to APTA. The APTA pact occupies the market of 2921.2 million people  and the size of this large market represents 14615.86 billion dollars in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) in the 2015-2016 fiscal year.  The main objective of APTA is to accelerate economic development among the seven Participating Countries that opt for trade and investment liberalization measures that contribute to economic trade and strengthening through the coverage of goods and services, a synchronized investment regime and free transfer of technology, which allows all participating States to participate in an economic situation. The aim is to promote economic development and cooperation by adopting trade liberalization measures.