Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreements List

The lack of a stable body capable of addressing trade-related issues under the agreement is an obstacle to better use of free trade agreements. When there are problems with a program, for example. B with documentation – there is no official authority that registers complaints and responds quickly. A rapid response is essential because of the high cost of delays and, if the free trade agreement denies the cost advantage, distributors will not be encouraged to continue exporting/importing. Sri Lanka`s trade relations with India marked a historic milestone when the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ISFTA) was signed on 28 December 1998 as Sri Lanka`s first bilateral free trade agreement. The ISFTA came into force on March 1, 2000. The ISFTA is now fully implemented, with both parties fulfilling their progressive obligations under the Tariff Liberalisation Programme (TLP), as explained below. Although customs plans have been liberalized to some extent under ILFTA and PSFTA, Sri Lanka`s trade expansion with India and Pakistan has been hampered by tariff quotas agreed under the agreements. India maintained tariff quotas for tea, clothing and textiles, while Pakistan maintained tariff quotas for tea, clothing and betel.

As a result, much of Sri Lanka`s tea exports to India and Pakistan were outside of free trade agreements. Traders stressed the need to facilitate visa procedures between two countries if trade relations between them are to be improved. Sri Lankan exporters to India, for example, said it was extremely difficult to obtain business visas to India and stressed the need to promote businessmen visiting India and to obtain several entry visas. Experience with ILFTA and attempts to extend the agreement into a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) underscore the need for a broader public law dialogue in Sri Lanka on trade agreements on a regular and ongoing basis. Consultations should not be reserved exclusively at the level of governments – financial, commercial or commercial departments, but with stakeholders in general. This can alleviate the concerns of importers, show that challenges can be addressed in participatory ways in agreements, and contribute to a greater public awareness of the opportunities and benefits of agreements and their confidence. Visit India`s website for ISFTA tariff concessions and other India customs information: www.indiantradeportal.in/index.jsp [vii] Kelegama, p.