Daily News, Colombo
Cotton yarn to come under amended FTA soon
India, Lanka to discuss formalities:
By Charumini De Silva
8 December 2010
The Indian Government and the Sri Lankan Government will renew the Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The Ministry is planning to include the import of yarn in the FTA.
The Industries and Commerce Ministry has already informed industrialists to send written requests to be produced during discussions.
The prices of cotton yarn showed a marked increase during the past four months. It has increased by 75 percent now.
India has now banned the export of cotton yarn putting the Sri Lankan textile industry at great risk of closing down factories. This will result in over 100,000 job losses to employees involved in the industry.
Speaking to the Daily News Business Industries and Commerce Ministry Textile Division Additional Secretary H M R B Herath said Sri Lanka has been importing cotton yarn from Thailand, Vietnam and India. The ban in cotton yarn exports has caused a great loss for the companies that were depending on Indian cotton yarn. However, the majority of the yarn was from India because the manufacturers preferred to import from India, as it is the nearest port, low freight charges and the small order quantities were also accepted by suppliers.
Mawbima Lanka Foundation Chairman Ariyaseela Wickramanayake said President Mahinda Rajapaksa rescued the textile weaving industry immediately after he came to power by writing-off the debts of industrialists who were facing financial difficulties.
“After that the industry started recovering and showing improvement, with the campaign of Mawbima Lanka Foundation to improve the local industry by promoting local products,” Wickramanayake said.