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Parliament: FTA favours India

Sunday Times, Sri Lanka

Parliament: FTA favours India

1 December 2010

The Balance of trade between Sri Lanka and India continues to be highly in favour of that country since the signing of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two nations, Parliament was told today.

In 2009 the balance of trade in favour of India stood at $1385.1 Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathurdeen said in response to a question raised by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake.

The Indo-Lanka FTA was signed in December 1988 and entered into force on 18th March 2010 and at that time the balance of trade stood at $544.4 million in favour of India.

In 2008, the balance of trade was the highest in favour of India reaching $2588.8 million and came down to $1385.1 million in 2009.

The minister also said that talks are continuing between the two countries on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

He said that a decision on CEPA will be made after consultation with stakeholders and negotiations on the issue are concluded.

Negotiations with India on CEPA are conducted at "Commerce Secretary" levels while technical level discussions are conducted at "Director General" level, he said. (CK)