On 23 October, the Secretariat of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (hereinafter referred to as the Agreement) informed Parties to the Agreement that Mongolia had deposited its instrument of acceptance with ESCAP, completing its accession procedures. Mongolia plans to grant tariff concessions to relevant members on a reciprocal basis starting on 1 January 2021. Under the tariff concession arrangements, Mongolia will reduce tariffs on products under 366 tariff lines, mainly aquatic products, vegetables and fruits, animal and vegetable oils, mineral products, chemical products, timber, cotton yarn, chemical fibers, machinery products, transport equipment, etc., with an average tariff reduction of 24.2 per cent. At the same time, Mongolia can enjoy the existing tariff concession arrangements of other members such as China.

With members from Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia, the Agreement is the first preferential regional trade arrangement that China acceded to. Mongolia's accession to the Agreement will not only further advance the regional integration of developing Asia-Pacific economies and promote Belt and Road cooperation, but also further deepen the bilateral trade and economic cooperation and enhance trade liberalization and facilitation between China and Mongolia.

The Agreement, formerly known as the Bangkok Agreement signed in 1975, is a preferential trade arrangement among developing countries under the auspices of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific to promote South-South cooperation. China officially acceded to the Agreement in 2001. Currently, members of the Agreement include Bangladesh, China, India, Laos, the Republic of Korea, Mongolia and Sri Lanka. In January 2017, members of the Agreement signed the Second Amendment to the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement, the outcome document of the fourth round of negotiations on tariff concessions. The amendment entered into force on July 1, 2018.


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