International Trade: Abbreviations

What does ˇ°MFNˇ± stand for?ˇ°MFNˇ± stands for ˇ°Most Favourite Nationˇ±. The MFN principle is used within World Trade Organisation (ˇ°WTOˇ±) Agreements, and is based upon the principle that member states should treat others fairly. Such principles form solid foundations of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (ˇ°GATTˇ±), the General Agreement on Trade in Services (ˇ°GATSˇ±) and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (ˇ°TRIPSˇ±). There are some exceptions to the MFN principle, however theses are only operational under strict conditions.

Example of MFN duty rates being reduced?
Tariff No. Product 2008 (%) 2009 (%) 2010 (%)

08101000 Strawberries 16.9 15.5 14
08129000 Fruits and nuts 26.8 25.9 25

What does ˇ°FTAˇ± stand for?
ˇ°FTAˇ± stands for Free Trade Agreements. FTAs are operational normally between two countries with an aim to reduce tariffs to trade. China currently has ten FTAs in operation, including agreements with New Zealand ( and Singapore ( Additionally, China has six FTAs under negotiations, with countries such as Australia, Iceland, and Norway, and two FTAs under consideration with India and Korea. Under such agreements, certain products are capable of enjoying conventional duty rates.

For further details on ChinaˇŻs FTAs please visit:

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