ColomboPage News Desk (Sri Lanka) | Monday, December 31, 2007
Sri Lanka, India set to finalize bilateral trade agreement
Dec 31, Colombo: An Indian trade delegation will visit Sri Lanka on January 2-4, 2008, with expectation to conclude discussions on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The two countries have been working for two years to finalise this agreement.
The Director General of Sri Lanka’s Department of Commerce stated that issues pertaining to trade in goods and the service sector have to be discussed in a manner that would benefit both the countries. The Director General expressed optimism that the talks in January would be fruitful and the text of the CEPA could be finalised.
The discussions have so far focused on trading in goods and services and on the contents of the agreement. The issues pertaining to the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) such as Vanaspathi and apparel would be discussed in detail.
The Secretary to the Ministry of Export Development and International Trade stated that the issues related to the service sector would have to be negotiated in a “mutually beneficial manner”, given the increasing opportunities.
The discussions would focus on customs cooperation, a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA), cooperation in the Ayurveda sector and export of Vanaspathi, as well as other sectors under the Agreement. The discussions would be headed by the Director General of the Department of Commerce and her Indian counterpart, the Joint Secretary to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of India.