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PSLFTA helps expand Sri Lankan exports

May '07
H.E. Shahzad A. Chaudhry, High Commissioner for Pakistan, is seen addressing members of the National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka, at the Hotel Taj Samudra last week.

Others In the picture (Left to Right):Mr. L. S. G. Tillekeratne (Director Member Services & New Projects-NCE), Mr. Felix Yahampath (Past President–NCE), Mr. Rohan Fernando (Vice President-NCE) & Mr. Kulatunga Rajapaksa (President-NCE).

Mr. Kulatunga Rajapaksa, President NCE welcomed the High Commissioner for Pakistan, H.E. Shahzad A. Chaudhry and the members of the NCE.

The High Commissioner of Pakistan H.E. addressed the membership on the Pakistan-Sri Lanka FTA (PSLFTA), last week at the Hotel Taj Samudra. In his address he touched upon the salient features of the agreement.

He stated that given a relatively weaker economic base of Sri Lanka, a special and differential treatment in favor of Lankan exports to Pakistan was inbuilt in the PSLFTA. The FTA, now into its second year of implementation, has helped expand the Sri Lankan exports to Pakistan by a significant margin of 60% during 2005-6, thereby reducing the trade gap by 21% in favor of Sri Lanka.

Thanks to concessionary duty rates under the FTA, almost the entire range of traditional Sri Lankan exports to Pakistan including coconut, black tea, copra, betel leaves and rubber registered 60-100% growth last year. New, better-performing Sri Lankan products were plastics and chemicals.

Pakistan's exports to Sri Lanka however did not grow at the same scale (3% growth last year). Lack of awareness about the Agreement and its technicalities among the two business communities remains a hurdle. This admittedly is more pronounced in Pakistan than here.

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