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Daily CUrrent Affairs 14.01.2022 (‘Suggestions sought on criminalising marital rape’, Forest, tree cover in India up by 2,261 sq. km in two years, Not possible to demilitarise Siachen, A pig heart transplant in Assam in 1997, India extends $900 mn aid to Sri Lanka, India, U.K. kick off talks for free trade agreement)

Daily CUrrent Affairs 14.01.2022 (‘Suggestions sought on criminalising marital rape’, Forest, tree cover in India up by 2,261 sq. km in two years, Not possible to demilitarise Siachen, A pig heart transplant in Assam in 1997, India extends $900 mn aid to Sri Lanka, India, U.K. kick off talks for free trade agreement)

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1. ‘Suggestions sought on criminalising marital rape’

Central government tells Delhi High Court it is considering a ‘constructive approach’ on the matter

The Centre on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that it was considering a “constructive approach” to the issue of criminalising marital rape and had sought suggestions from the State governments, the Chief Justice of India, MPs and others on comprehensive amendments to the criminal law.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher, who is heading the Bench dealing with a batch of petitions seeking criminalisation of marital rape, said during the hearing that Solicitor General Tushar Mehta mentioned the matter before him when certain other parties and Justice C. Hari Shankar, who forms part of the Bench, were not present. “The matter was mentioned by the learned SG and he was saying that the government was considering a constructive approach to the matter,” said Justice Shakdher.

Central government lawyer Monika Arora told the Bench that the Centre was undertaking a comprehensive task of amending the criminal law, which includes Section 375 (rape) of the IPC.

“We have invited suggestions from all the Chief Ministers… the CJI, Chief Justices of all High Courts… judicial academies, national law universities, the Bar Council of India, Bar council of all courts and members of both Houses of Parliament regarding comprehensively amending the criminal laws,” she said.

The court said that overhaul of the law would take “a lot of time” and asked the Centre to state if it was dealing specifically with the issue of marital rape.

Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Marital rape

Section 375: This section provides the definition of rape. Under this, a man is said to commit “rape” who had sexual intercourse with a woman under certain circumstances. This section also specifies the circumstances like against her will, without her consent, etc.

Exception 2 to Section 375: This section provides that sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife (provided that wife is over the age of 18) would not amount to the offence of rape. This is based on the premise that all sex within marriage is consensual.

Status of Marital rape in India

In a survey conducted by International Centre for Research on Women (2011) nearly 20% of Indian men have, reportedly, at least once carried out sexual violence against a female partner.

Another study conducted by the Joint Women Programme, an NGO, found that one out of seven married women had been raped by their husbands at least once. They frequently do not report these rapes because the law does not support them.

In another study by National Health and Family Survey (NFHS-4) for the year 2015-16, 5.6% of women have been reported as victims under the category of “physically forced her to have sexual intercourse with husbands even when she did not want to”.

What are the court Judgements on Marital rape?

Nimeshbhai Bharatbhai Desai vs State of Gujarat (2017) case: In this case, the Gujarat High Court elaborately dealt with the issue of marital rape. The court stated that “making wife rape illegal or an offense will remove the destructive attitudes that promote the marital rape”;

However, due to the non-recognition of marital rape as a crime, the court held that the husband is liable only for outraging her modesty and unnatural sex.

Independent Thought v. Union of India (2017) case: In this case, the SC has criminalised sexual intercourse with a minor wife aged between 15 and 18 years. But, the SC refused to delve into the question of marital rape of adult women while examining an exception to Section 375 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which allows a man to force sex on his wife.

Note: The Court restricted marital rape cases to minors to bring parity between IPC and POCSO 2012.

High Courts(HC) have given various views. One HC backed marital rape as a valid ground for divorce, while others granted anticipatory bail to a man who was accused of marital rape.

But the High Courts have highlighted the lacunae in IPC which provide that any sex between a man and his wife, forcible or not, does not constitute rape.

2. Forest, tree cover in India up by 2,261 sq. km in two years

A.P. followed by Telangana, Odisha saw most increase: report

Forest and tree cover in the country has increased by 2,261 square kilometres since the last assessment in 2019, according to the India State of Forest Report-2021 released on Thursday.

Releasing the report, Environment and Forest Minister Bhupender Yadav said the total forest and tree cover was 80.9 million hectares, which accounted for 24.62% of the geographical area of the country. The report said 17 States and Union Territories had more than 33% of their area under forest cover. Mr. Yadav said the Narendra Modi government’s focus was to enrich the forests qualitatively.

The report found that there had been a 1,540 sq. km increase in forest cover and 721 sq. km increase in tree cover since the last report in 2019.

Top 3 States

“Increase in forest cover has been observed in open forest followed by very dense forest. Top three States showing increase in forest cover are Andhra Pradesh (647 sq. km) followed by Telangana (632 sq. km) and Odisha (537 sq. km),” a Ministry statement said.

Madhya Pradesh had the largest forest cover, followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra. The top five States in terms of forest cover as a percentage of their total geographical area were Mizoram (84.53%), Arunachal Pradesh (79.33%), Meghalaya (76%), Manipur (74.34%) and Nagaland (73.90%).

Mangrove cover

The total mangrove cover in the country had increased by 17 sq. km, to reach 4,992 sq. km. The total carbon stock in forests was estimated to be 7,204 million tonnes, an increase of 79.4 million tonnes from 2019.

The Ministry said the survey used mid-resolution satellite data, followed by “rigorous ground truthing” and information from other sources.

“The accuracy level achieved in the current assessment is significantly high. The accuracy of forest cover classification has been assessed 92.99%. The accuracy of classification between forest and non-forest classes has been assessed 95.79% against internationally accepted accuracy of classification of more than 85%,” the Ministry said.

State of Forest Report 2021

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has released the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2021.
  • The biennial report by the Forest Survey of India (FSI) is an assessment of the country’s forest resources.

Highlights of the Report:

  • India’s forest and tree cover has risen by 2,261 square kilometers in the last two years with Andhra Pradesh growing the maximum forest cover of 647 square kilometers.
  • The total tree-and-forest cover in the country includes an increase of 1,540 square kilometres of forest cover and 721 sq km of tree cover compared to the 2019 report.
  • India’s total forest and tree cover is now spread across 80.9 million hectares, which is 62 per cent of the geographical area of the country.
  • The top five states in terms of increase in forest cover are Andhra Pradesh (647 sq km), Telangana (632 sq km), Odisha (537 sq km), Karnataka (155 sq km) and Jharkhand (110 sq km).
  • The gain in forest cover or improvement in forest canopy density may be attributed to better conservation measures, protection, afforestation activities, tree plantation drives and agroforestry.
  • Among the mega cities in the country, Ahmedabad has been the biggest loser when it comes to forest cover.

 States with maximum forest cover:

  • Area-wise, Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover in the country followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra.
  • 17 states/UTs have above 33 per cent of the geographical area under forest cover.
  • Out of these states and UTs, Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya have more than 75 per cent forest cover.

Mangrove cover in the country:

  • There is an increase of 17 sq km in mangrove cover in the country as compared to the previous assessment of 2019.
  • Total mangrove cover in the country is 4,992 sq km.
  • Top three states showing mangrove cover increase are Odisha (8 sq km) followed by Maharashtra (4 sq km) and Karnataka (3 sq km).

Carbon stock:

  • The total carbon stock in the country’s forest is estimated to be 7,204 million tonnes and there is an increase of 79.4 million tonnes in the carbon stock of the country as compared to the last assessment of 2019.
  • The annual increase in the carbon stock is 39.7 million tonnes.

Concerns:

  • The north-east did not show positive results as the current assessment showed a decrease of forest cover to the extent of 1,020 sq km in the region.
  • Arunachal Pradesh lost the maximum forest cover of 257 sq km, followed by Manipur which lost 249 sq km, Nagaland 235 sq km, Mizoram 186 sq km and Meghalaya 73 sq km.
  • In total 140 hill districts of the country, the forest cover reduced by 902 sq km in the last two years. In the 2019 report, the forest cover in the hill regions had increased by 544 sq km.

Efforts by Government to increase forest cover in the country:

To achieve India’s aim of increasing additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes CO2 equivalent by 2030, Nagar Van Yojna has been introduced to increase the tree cover and joined with the second phase of Green Mission in the next five years.

Significant features of ISFR 2021:

  • In the present ISFR 2021, FSI has included a new chapter related to the assessment of forest cover in the Tiger Reserves, Corridors and Lion conservation area of India.
  • A new initiative of FSI has also been documented in the form of a chapter, where the ‘Above Ground Biomass’ has been estimated. FSI, in collaboration with Space Application Centre (SAC), ISRO, Ahmedabad, initiated a special study for estimation of Above Ground Biomass (AGB) at pan-India level, using L- band of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data.
  • FSI in collaboration of with Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS) Pilani, Goa Campus has performed a study based on ‘Mapping of Climate Change Hotspots in Indian Forests’. The collaborative study was carried out with the objective to map the climatic hotspots over the forest cover in India, using computer model-based projection of temperature and rainfall data, for the three future time periods i.e. year 2030, 2050 and 2085.
  • The report also contains information on various parameters State/UT wise. Special thematic information on forest cover such as hill, tribal districts, and north eastern region has also been given separately in the report.

3. Not possible to demilitarise Siachen

Not an ideal scenario in view of stand-off in Ladakh and Chinese build-up: experts

We are “not averse” to demilitarisation of the Siachen glacier but the pre-condition is Pakistan has to accept the Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL), Army chief General Manoj Naravane said on Wednesday, raising a fresh debate over the world’s highest battlefield, with experts saying it may not be ideal in the backdrop of the stand-off in eastern ladakh and the Chinese build-up.

In contrast to the present comments, the Army chief had two years ago termed Siachen as a point of “collusive threat” between Pakistan and China and so “we should keep control”. However, with the stand-off in eastern Ladakh and massive build-up and expansion by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in sub-sector north which is very close to the Karakoram range and Soltoro ridge, several serving officials and experts noted that it would not be possible for India to vacate the crucial positions on the glacier.

At the annual press conference, Gen. Naravane said, “Pakistan has to accept what are their positions and has to accept what are our positions.”

He said the situation had occurred due to a unilateral attempt by Pakistan to change the status quo. The Line of Control (LoC) had been delineated to a point called NJ 9842, and thereafter, the understanding was that it will remain unoccupied. But Pakistan had made an attempt to occupy territory and “we were forced to take our countermeasures”, Gen. Naravane said.

Siachen and Sir Creek have long been termed “low hanging fruits” in the past for resolution between India and Pakistan and the two countries have held 13 rounds of Defence Secretary-level talks on Siachen, the last one in June 2012.

Former Northern Army Commander Lt. Gen. D.S. Hooda said the Indian Army has not been averse to a disengagement at Siachen but it has not happened due to a reluctance by the Pakistan Army to accept the positions that are occupied by the Indian Army.

“Now the situation has completely changed with the PLA aggression in the sub sector north in eastern Ladakh. With the Siachen sector facing threats from both west and east, there is perhaps no question of any disengagement from Siachen,” he told The Hindu.

About Siachen Glacier

Siachen Glacier lies in Northern Ladakh in the Karakorams, a mountain range originating from the Pamirs. The total area of Siachen Glacier is approximately 78 km. Siachen is the 5th largest glacier of the Karakoram Range and second largest glacier in the world.

About the Siachen controversy:

The average elevation of Siachen Glacier from sea level is approximately 17770 feet. Most of the Siachen Glacier as is the LoC, a disputed territory between India and Pakistan. The area of “Aksai Chin” is also located in this area.

It is very important for India to deploy its troops in this area to monitor the activities of the Pakistan and China in this area. Prior to 1984 neither India nor Pakistan had any permanent presence in the area.

The reason for the dispute:

In the Shimla Agreement of 1972, the Siachen area was termed as barren and useless. But this agreement did not determine the boundary between India and Pakistan. India got intelligence in 1984 that Pakistan has ordered to prepare some “hot suit” to a European company to capture the area of Siachen Glacier. But before the consignment of Pakistan suit taken place; India got ready these “hot suits” and deployed its troops on “Bilafond La Pass”.

India launched Operation Meghdoot (named after the divine cloud messenger in a Sanskrit play of Kalidasa) on 13 April 1984 when the “Kumaon Regiment” of the Indian Army and the “Indian Air Force” went into the Glacier.

It is worth to mention here that if the Pakistan army got their suit ready first, then the Pakistan army would have reached at this place before India. Thanks to the Indian intelligence dept.


The Pakistan army also tried to climb this place on April 25, 1984 but had to return due to poor weather conditions and inadequate preparations. Finally, on June 25, 1987, Pakistan achieved success in creating a post called “Quaid Post” at an altitude of 21 thousand feet, because the Indian army had finished all its ammunition.

Since India’s army had reached this place first that is why our army is sitting at higher altitude and Pakistan army is sitting at lower altitude; hence Indian army is in commanding position in this region.

In 2003, there was an armistice treaty signed between India and Pakistan. Since then firing and bombardment has ceased in this area but the army of both nations is stationed here. India has deployed around 10000 soldiers in the Siachen Glacier whose total cost is around Rs. 5 crore per day.

Interesting Facts about cold in the Siachen Glacier;

The soldiers in Siachen region are appointed at around 18,000 to 23,000 feet above the sea level. The temperature falls below up to minus 55 degrees celsius because there are approximately 22 Glaciers in this area.

The situation in Siachen Glacier is so severe that soldiers don’t get sufficient oxygen essential for their survival.  Here the soldiers have to walk in the snow till the knees. A healthy soldier can also walks a few steps only due to extreme weather conditions.

In Siachen Glacier; rifles are thawed frozen and machine guns primed with boiling water. Soldiers are bound to suffer from hypothermia, frostbite and chilblains. The soldier’s own sweat can become his enemy as it converts into ice in his gloves and shoes and frostbite increases the severity of the soldiers.

In the Siachen Glacier; the soldiers need to have food of more than 4000-5000 calories per day but they don’t get it. Inadequate food availability reduces the weight of the soldiers between 5 to 10 kg in 3 to 4 months. The special food of these soldiers is prepared by the scientists of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

To get the drinking water the soldiers need to melt the ice on the stove but in the absence of adequate fuel the availability of the safe drinking water is also a challenge for them.

One surprising fact is that the main reason behind the death of the soldiers is not the fight between the India and Pakistan but it is extreme weather conditions. According to an estimate, so far 2500 soldiers of both countries have lost their lives here without any gun battle.

4. A pig heart transplant in Assam in 1997

On January 7, doctors at the University of Maryland Medical School in the U.S. made news when they transplanted a genetically modified pig heart into a 57-year-old man.

Few remember now that Dhaniram Baruah, a cardio-thoracic surgeon based in Sonapur near Guwahati, transplanted the organs of a pig into a human body in 1997. However, Dr. Baruah’s xenotransplantation procedure ended badly.

Xenotransplantation is the process of grafting or transplanting organs or tissues between members of different species.

“It is not easy for a human body to accept the organs of a pig. Time will tell whether the human body will accept the organ of a genetically-altered pig,” the 72-year-old doctor, who lost his voice after undergoing throat surgery some time ago, said via S.A. Achrekar, a senior scientist at his research institute in Sonapur.

At an international conference in 1995, Dr. Baruah had said pigs are close to humans in various aspects. He had at the time developed an “electric motor-driven artificial biological heart made of ox pericardium that was implanted in a pig”.

Dr. Baruah said he had carried out 102 animal experiments on xenotransplantation. He transplanted a pig’s heart, lung and kidneys to Purno Saikia, a 32-year-old end-stage organ failure patient, on January 1, 1997. Jonathan Ho, a Hong Kong-based doctor, had assisted him in the transplantation at his research centre.

But Sakia died a week later, triggering an uproar. The two doctors were arrested on January 10 under the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994, booked for culpable homicide and imprisoned for 40 days. Subsequently, the Assam government formed an inquiry committee that found pig heart implants to be unethical and unlawful.

5. India extends $900 mn aid to Sri Lanka

It includes a $400 mn currency swap and deferred payment of $500 mn

India on Thursday confirmed a $400 million currency swap with Sri Lanka while deferring another $500 million due for settlement to the Asian Clearing Union (ACU), in a move aimed at helping the island nation witnessing an unprecedented economic crisis.

In a tweet on Thursday, the Indian mission in Colombo said High Commissioner Gopal Baglay met Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal and expressed “India’s strong support to Sri Lanka” in the wake of the Reserve Bank of India extending facilities of $900 million over the last week.

“Had an excellent discussion with Indian High Commissioner to #SriLanka HE Gopal Baglay at my office this morning where he confirmed the #SAARC #SWAP by RBI and other forms of bilateral cooperation,” Mr. Cabraal said in a tweet.

India’s assistance follows a request from Sri Lanka during Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s visit to New Delhi in December, for emergency financial assistance, including Lines of Credit for importing essentials and a currency swap to boost Sri Lanka’s draining foreign reserves. Sri Lanka is facing a severe dollar crunch that economists say might lead to a default on external debt and create a food shortage in the imports-reliant nation. Colombo must service over $7 billion outstanding debt in 2022, including bond repayments of $500 million in January and $1 billion in July.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has expressed confidence about paying off the foreign debt. Ruling out an IMF bailout, Governor Cabraal on Wednesday said Colombo is in talks with Beijing for a new loan, in addition to the $500 million loan and $1.5 billion currency swap extended by Beijing as pandemic-time support. The request, according to local media reports, was also discussed during Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Colombo last week. Sri Lanka owes China over $5 billion already, and Colombo has requested Beijing to restructure it to provide some relief.

The developments have prompted political commentators in Sri Lanka to pit India and China against each other, in providing timely assistance to the island nation.

In July 2020, the RBI extended a similar swap facility — of $400 million — to help Sri Lanka cope with the impact of the first wave of the pandemic, and later provided a three-month roll over until February 2021, when the Central Bank of Sri Lanka settled it.

Thursday’s announcement on RBI assistance includes deferring the payment of $500 that Sri Lanka owes to the ACU, a regional initiative with the Central Banks and Monetary Authorities of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Significantly, India’s confirmation of the swap comes a week after the two countries signed a long-pending agreement on jointly developing the strategically located Trincomalee oil tank farm along the north-eastern coast of the island. Diplomatic sources had earlier indicated that any financial support from New Delhi to Colombo would have to follow the signing of the deal.

About the Economic Crisis in Sri Lanka

  • Government of Sri Lanka declared an economic emergency in last week of August 2021 because of rising food prices, depreciating currency, and depleting forex reserves.
  • Factors that led to the current economic crisis in Sri Lanka include:
    • Tourism industry in Sri Lanka has hit hard because of covid-19 pandemic. It represents more than 10% of the its Gross Domestic Product and brings in huge foreign exchange.
    • Thus, forex reserves have decreased to$2.8 billion in July 2021 from over $7.5 billion in 2019.
    • As the foreign exchange supply is decreasing, amount of money that Sri Lankans was having to shell out to purchase the foreign exchange has increased. This, value of Sri Lankan rupee has depreciated by 8%.
    • As Sri Lanka depends on imports to meet the basic food supplies, the price of food items there has increased in line with depreciating rupee.
  • Sri Lankan government blamed speculators for resulting into rise in food prices by hoarding essential supplies. Government declared “economic emergency” under the Public Security Ordinance.
  • Under the emergency situation, army has been tasked to seize the food supplies from traders and supply them to consumers at fair prices.
  • Government has also given power to the army to ensure that forex reserves are used to purchase the essential goods only.

About the Four-pillar initiative

  1. Lines of credit for food, medicines and fuel purchases granted by India. Lines of credit is a credit facility extended by a bank or any other financial institution to a government, business or an individual customer, that enables the customer to draw the maximum loan amount.
  2. currency swap agreement to deal with Sri Lanka’s balance of payment issues. The word swap means exchange. A currency swap between the two countries is an agreement or contract to exchange currencies with predetermined terms and conditions.
  3. An early modernization project of the Trinco oil farms that India has been pursuing for several years. The Trincomalee Harbour, one of the deepest natural harbours in the world, was developed by the British during World War II. In particular, the projects to develop oil infrastructure in Trincomalee have been hanging fire since 2017.
  4. A Sri Lankan commitment to facilitate Indian investments in various sectors.

6. India, U.K. kick off talks for free trade agreement

‘Open to interim pact while talks continue for complete FTA’

Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and U.K. Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan kicked off talks for an ambitious, comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on Thursday. Mr. Goyal said the negotiations are expected to be completed within a year.

“India stands to gain from this multi-dimensional economic partnership with exports growth in leather, textiles, jewellery, processed agri-products,” said Mr. Goyal after the start of the negotiation that would cover both goods and services. Sources said bilateral trade of $50 billion is expected to double to $100 billion in 10 years. Mr. Goyal had earlier said such discussions were under way with the UAE, Australia, Canada and Israel.

A joint statement quoted both sides as saying they would consider the option of an ‘interim agreement’ while negotiations for a comprehensive pact continue.

“By 2050, India will be the world’s third-largest economy with a middle class of almost 250 million shoppers. We want to unlock this huge new market for our great British producers and manufacturers across numerous industries from food and drink to services and automotive,” said Ms. Trevelyan. This is the first major negotiation exercise that the U.K. has held with India since Brexit.

The first round starts on January 17 and subsequent rounds would take place about every five weeks.

What is economic integration & why go for it?

Economic integration refers to trade unification between different states by the partial or full abolishing of customs tariffs on trade taking place within the borders of each state.

  • The objective of this integration is to increase the combined economic productivity of the countries – easier access of goods and services
  • Other by-product of integration is competitiveness. If 4-5 countries come together to form a closely knit family (of sorts), they would create barriers to entry of an external (possibly much larger player) to disrupt the region with cheaper goods

What is a trade agreement?

A trade agreement is a contract/agreement/pact between two or more nations that outlines how they will work together to ensure mutual benefit in the field of trade and investment.

This can be bilateral (2 countries) or multilateral (2+ countries).

Once a trade agreement is finalised, we get to read about these Trade Blocs – a type of intergovernmental agreement, where regional barriers to trade, (tariffs and non-tariff barriers) are reduced or eliminated among the participating states.

1. PTA – Preferential trade agreement

A preferential trade agreement, is a trading bloc that gives preferential access to certain products from the participating countries.

This is done by reducing tariffs but not by abolishing them completely. A PTA can be established through a trade pact. It is the first stage of economic integration.

Some examples:

Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA): formerly known as the Bangkok Agreement, was signed on 31st of July 1975 as an initiative of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). ESCAP is the regional development arm of the United Nations for the Asia-Pacific region.

India-Mercosur Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA): Mercosur is a sub-regional blogs with its member countries – full members are Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.

2. FTA – Free trade agreement

A free-trade area is a trade bloc whose member countries have signed a free-trade agreement (FTA), which eliminates tariffs, import quotas, and preferences on most (if not all) goods and services traded between them.

Please note that you cannot distinct PTA and FTA by just saying that the former has fewer barriers and later has no barriers at all. FTA does not mean everything is free! PTA closely follows FTA.

ASEAN FTA (Trade agreement within the Southeast asian nations)

What would happen if countries want to move more closer (beyond material trade)?

When the countries go beyond FTA and agree for a greater degree of economic integration which includes improving the attractiveness to capital and human resources, and to expand trade and investment, it would result in CECA or CEPA.

CEPA = Comprehensive Economic partnership Agreement

CECA = Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement

CECA and CEPA have very minor differences, if you will. While CECA comes first with elimination of tariffs, CEPA comes later including trade in services and investments. CEPA has a bit wider scope than CECA.

3. Customs Union

An agreement among countries to have free trade among themselves and to adopt common external barriers against any other country interested in exporting to these countries.

Some examples:

Southern Common Market – Mercosur (Argentina; Bolivia; Brazil; Paraguay; Uruguay; and Venezuela)

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – Its member states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates

East African Community (EAC) – composed of 5 countries in the African Great Lakes region in eastern Africa: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda

4. Common Market

A type of custom union where there are common policies on product regulation, and free movement of goods and services, capital and labour.

5. Economic Union

An economic union is a type of trade bloc which is composed of a common market with a customs union. The participant countries have both common policies on product regulation, freedom of movement of goods, services and the factors of production (capital and labour) and a common external trade policy.

6. Economic and monetary union

When an economic union involves unifying currency it becomes a economic and monetary union. Eg – Euro!

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