Islamabad: Ninth Meeting of the Expert Group on SAARC Agreement on Trade in Services held in Islamabad today. The meeting discussed on schedules of specific commitments by each member country on services to be traded in the SAARC Region. The other agenda of meeting were “review of status of ratification of SAARC agreement on trade in services” “negotiations on schedules of specific commitments, including initial request list” “election of chairperson” “dates and venue of next meeting of expert group on SAARC agreement” and “adoption of current agenda and report”
This SAARC Agreement on Trade in Services was signed during the 16th SAARC Summit held at Thimphu, Bhutan on 28-29th April 2010. The aim of this Agreement is to open up new vistas of trade cooperation and to further deepen the integration of the regional economies.
In the continuation of today’s agreements, the meeting on SAFTA Committee of Experts (COE) will be held on 14th and 15th February, 2012 to discuss matters related to Sensitive List, Trade Liberalization Programme and Non-Tariff Barriers. The COE monitors, reviews and facilitates implementation of the provisions of SAFTA and undertakes any task assigned to it by the SAFTA Ministerial Council (SMC).
In the same way, The SAFTA Ministerial Council meeting will b held on 16th February, 2012 in which all the SAARC Commerce Ministers will discuss matters to promote trade of goods as well as Services within the SAARC Region.
The SMC is the highest decision-making body of SAFTA and is responsible for the administration and implementation of this Agreement and all decisions and arrangements made within its legal framework. The SMC consists of the Ministers of Commerce/Trade of the Contracting States. It meets at least once every year or more often as and when considered necessary by the Contracting States. Each Contracting State chairs the SMC for a period of one year on rotational basis in alphabetical order.
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