REGIONAL ARRANGEMENTS

We are signatories to the regional agreements, namely the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC). The members of SAARC include Afghanistan Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

As a Member of both organizations, the government of Maldives has signed the following agreements and is in the process of implementing these agreements: Government of Maldives has established bilateral trade relations with several countries, for the promotion and development of trade and economic relations.

Maldives has signed bilateral agreements with the following countries:


Agreement Type

Regional

Agreement Name

Agreement on South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA)

Purpose

·         To strengthen intra-SAARC economic corporation & to maximise the realization of the region’s potential for trade and development for the benefit of their people, in a spirit of mutual accommodation, with full respect for the principles of sovereign equality, independence and territorial integrity of all states, in line with the charter objective of promoting economic co-operation

·         Outlines 10-year schedule for trade liberalization, which aims at reducing and eliminating customs duties on cross border trade

Date Signed

6th January 2004

Countries Involved

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Maldives, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bhutan

Status

Commenced on 1st January 2006


Agreement Type

Regional

Agreement Name

SAARC Agreement on Trade in Services (SATIS)

Purpose

·         To promote and enhance trade in services among the member countries, by establishing a framework for liberalizing and promoting trade in services within the region.

·         Signed during the 16th SAARC Summit, Bhutan.

·         Member countries required to progressively liberalize their services sectors.

Date Signed

April 2010

Countries Involved

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Maldives, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bhutan


Agreement Type

Regional

Agreement Name

Agreement on the Establishment of South Asian Regional Standards Organization (SARSO)

Purpose

·         To achieve and enhance coordination and cooperation in the fields of standardization and conformity assessment and develop harmonised standards for the region

·         To facilitate intra-regional trade and to facilitate better access to the global market

·         Signed during the 15th SAARC Summit, Srilanka

·         South Asian Regional Standards Organization (SARSO) established;

o   For promotion of and undertaking harmonization of national standards of the SAARC Member States, with a view to removing the technical barriers to trade and facilitate flow of  goods and services in the region.

o   To develop SAARC standards on the products of regional/sub-regional interest.

o   To encourage the use of international standards published by international organizations such as ISO, IEC, etc by way of adoption, where appropriate, as SAARC Standards.

o   To encourage exchange of information and expertise among the National Standards Bodies of the Member States in the fields of Standardization and Conformity Assessment.

·         To facilitate capacity building among the Member States in the fields of Standardization and Conformity Assessment, by way of training, workshops, seminars etc. 

Date Signed

August 2008

Countries Involved

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Maldives, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bhutan


Agreement Type

Regional

Agreement Name

Framework Agreement on Trade Preferential Systems among the Member States of the Organization of Islamic Countries (TPS OIC):

Purpose

·         It aims at promoting trade among member countries, through exchanging trade preferences on the basis of equal and in a non-discriminatory manner, taking into account, the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) principle.

·         The Framework Agreement on TPS-OIC is a basic document that sets up the general principles towards establishing a preferential trade system among the OIC Member States:

o   These preferences include tariff; para-tariff and non-tariff concessions, and other trade preferential treatments to all commodities, including agricultural and animal products, and manufactured and semi-manufactured products

·         adopted as per Resolution No.1 of the 6th Session of the COMCEC held in Istanbul, Turkey

Date Signed

October 1990

Countries Involved

Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC)

Status

Effective since October 2002, Ratified on 11th April 2006