SCCI for consolidated country of origin clause in Safta

New Delhi, Nov 15 | Updated: Nov 16 2005, 05:30am hrs
The Saarc Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has recommended the incorporation of consolidated country of origin clause, in the proposed draft of the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (Safta), to be implemented from January 2006.

In its suggestions to the Saarc secretariat, the association has said that the proposed clause should be included as long as 35% value addition norm is adhered to by the exporting country.

At present, Saarc has got approval from the European Union (EU) to validate a consolidated country of origin certificate. This allows exports from Saarc countries, through which the consolidated 35% value addition chain has moved.

Regionalisation becomes easy under consolidated country of origin certificate. This will also help in boosting intra-Saarc, said SCCI president, Macky Hashim, while announcing the Saarc business leaders conclave, to be held here between November 17-18.

Mr Hashim said the association had also suggested a comprehensive compensation mechanism under Safta, to make up for the revenue losses expected in the case of least developed countries (LDCs) in the region, like Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives.

The Saarc secretariat is already working on a proposal to provide longer time frame for tariff reduction by LDCs.

Mr Hashim said that inspite of South Asian Preferential Trade Agreement, the intra-regional trade in Saarc could not go above 4% of the inter-regional trade.