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NTBs, bureaucratic procedures real impediments to SAFTA

Pakistan Observer, Pakistan

NTBs, bureaucratic procedures real impediments to SAFTA

By Staff Reporter

29 November 2008

Islamabad- “Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) and bureaucratic procedures are real impediments to the implementation of SAFTA in true perspective therefore the Governments of the respective countries of the region need to enter into policy implementation phase instead of policy formulation”. This was stated by Hon.Prof.G.L.Peiris, Minister of International Trade and Export Development of the Government of Sri Lanka in his inaugural address on Roundtable on SAFTA: Efforts for Trade Liberalization in South Asia & Way Forward. The Roundtable was organized by: SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry In Collaboration with: Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka( FCCISL), supported by Friedrich Naumann Foundation at Colombo, Sri Lanka November 28, 2008

Sri Lankan Minister urged upon the respective Governments to play their due role in removal of barriers in real spirit and stressed upon the need for adopting practical modalities with pragmatic and practical approach. He said that though SAFTA had become operational since July 2006, the implementation pace was too slow to achieve the objectives within specific time frame. ”Due to disparity of scales, the fear perception of Small countries was right” said Minister however added that the practical evidence have shown that FTA with bigger countries had been more useful for comparatively small countries. He emphasized for promoting intra-regional FDI, which was a two-way measure to enhance economic cooperation in the region. Earlier Mr. Muhammad Iqbal Tabish in his introductory remarks highlighted the importance of SAFTA particularly in view of the 15th SAARC Summit which had broadened the ambit of SAFTA after inclusion of Service sector.