The agreement on south Asian free trade area (SAFTA) was signed by all the member states of SAARC during the 12th SAARC summit held in Islamabad on 4-6th January. As a result, SAFTA came into force from 1st January, 2006. SAFTA is a motivation for the commitment to strengthen intra SAARC economic cooperation to maximize the realization of the region’s potential for trade and development for the benefit of their people, in spirit of mutual accommodation, with full respect for the principle of sovereign equality, independence and territorial integrity of all states.
- To promote and enhance mutual trade and economic cooperation among contacting states
- To eliminate barriers to trade in and to facilitate the cross border movement of goods between the territories of contracting states
- To promote conditions of fair competition in the free trade area and ensuring equitable benefits to all contracting states, taking into account their respective levels a pattern if economic development
- To create effective mechanism for the implementation and application for joint administration, resolution of disputes
- To establish a framework for further regional cooperation to expand and enhance the mutual benefits