OPEC & SAFTA

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a permanent, intergovernmental Organisation, created at the Baghdad Conference on September 10�14, 1960, by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. The five Founding Members were later joined by nine other Members. These countries were later joined by Qatar (1961), Indonesia (1962), Libya (1962), the United Arab Emirates (1967), Algeria (1969), Nigeria (1971), Ecuador (1973), Gabon (1975) and Angola (2007). OPEC had its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, in the first five years of its existence. This was moved to Vienna, Austria, in 1965.

The mission of OPEC is to coordinate and unify the petroleum policies of its Member Countries and ensure the stabilization of oil markets in order to secure an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers and a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry.

South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA)

SAFTA was envisaged primarily as the first step towards the transition to a South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) leading subsequently towards a Customs Union, Common Market and Economic Union. In 1995, the Sixteenth session of the Council of Ministers (New Delhi, 18-19 December 1995) agreed on the need to strive for the realization of SAFTA and to this end an Inter-Governmental Expert Group (IGEG) was set up in 1996 to identify the necessary steps for progressing to a free trade area. The Tenth SAARC Summit (Colombo, 29-31 July 1998) decided to set up a Committee of Experts (COE) to draft a comprehensive treaty framework for creating a free trade area within the region, taking into consideration the asymmetries in development within the region and bearing in mind the need to realistic and achievable targets.

The SAFTA Agreement was signed on 6 January 2004 during Twelfth SAARC Summit held in Islamabad, Pakistan. The Agreement entered into force on 1 January 2006, and the Trade Liberalization Programme commenced from 1 July 2006. e exports under SAFTA have been witnessing considerable upward trend since the launching of the Trade Liberalization Programme (TLP). As of 13 September 2012, the total f.o.b. value of exports by Member States under SAFTA has crossed US$ 2 billion since launching of SAFTA Trade Liberalization Programme (i.e. July 2006).

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is an organization of South Asian nations, which was established on 8 December 1985 when the government of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka formally adopted its charter providing for the promotion of economic and social progress, cultural development within the South Asia region and also for friendship and cooperation with other developing countries. It is dedicated to economic, technological, social, and cultural development emphasizing collective self-reliance. Its seven founding members are Sri Lanka, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Afghanistan joined the organization in 2007. Meetings of heads of state are usually scheduled annually; meetings of foreign secretaries, twice annually. It is headquartered in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The SAARC Secretariat was established in Kathmandu on 16 January 1987 and was inaugurated by Late King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah of Nepal. It is headed by the Secretary General appointed by the Council of Ministers from Member Countries for a three-year term. The SAARC Secretariat and Member States observe 8 December as the SAARC Charter Day.

Objectives of SAARC

The objectives and the aims of the Association as deed in the Charter are:

  • to promote the welfare of the people of South Asia and to improve their quality of life;
  • to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region and to provide all individuals the opportunity to live in dignity and to realize their full potential;
  • to promote and strengthen selective self-reliance among the countries of South Asia;
  • to contribute to mutual trust, undefirstanding and appreciation of one another�s problems;
  • to promote active collaboration and mutual assistance in the economic, social, cultural, technical and scientific fields;
  • to strengthen cooperation with other developing countries;
  • to strengthen cooperation among themselves in international forums on matters of common interest; and
  • to cooperate with international and regional organizations with similar aims and purposes
  • to maintain peace in the region

Written by princy

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