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Indo-Lanka trade talk opens

25
Apr '06
Indo-Lanka trade talks under Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) are scheduled to be held in Colombo from April 25.

This was informed by Nimal Karunatilake, Deputy Director of Commerce.

India would be asked to be flexible on rules of origin for specific products like jewellery, he said.

The local gem and jewellery industry imports raw material like gold, but adds value through workmanship, stones and designs.

The trade agreement requires minimum 35 percent value addition to export to India. We can only show about 20-25 percent value addition as gold has to be imported, he explained.

Sri Lanka is also unable to make use of trade pact to ship 8-million pieces of readymade clothes to India as due to lack of large scale fabric base.

In order to qualify for duty free concessions, out of eight million pieces shipped, six should be made using Indian fabric.

This results into garments becoming too expensive, said Tuly Cooray, Secretary General of Joint Apparel Associations Forum (JAAF).

JAAF has asked India to consider charging a lower duty on shipments of ladies slacks, blouses and intimate-wear.

We want such non tariff barriers removed, said Cooray.


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