27th March 2013, www.lankabusinessonline.com
India has raised a quota of Sri Lanka-made apparel and the validity of a sanitary permit for meat had been doubled giving more freedom for Indian nationals to buy goods from the island.
Free Trade Agreements were then used to progressively give freedom to the poorer people to trade.
Quotas and rules of origins were used as a compromise to give more time for powerful production lobbies to continue to make excessive some profits at the expense of the domestic consumer, allowing authorities to give some liberty to domestic consumers.
Cheaper imports leave more money in the hands of consumers, raising their living standards by expanding the ability to buy other goods and especially services, which can boost domestic output and employment.
The Indian High Commission said the apparel quota relaxation came following request made to visiting Indian commerce and industry minister in August 2012.
In January, at the 8th India-Sri Lanka joint commission meeting it was agreed to double bi-lateral trade to 10 billion US dollars in the next three years.
India said Sri Lankan exports had reached 720.89 million US dollars in 2011-2012 and from April 2012 to December 2012 Sri Lankan exports to India was 528.76 million US dollars.
Sri Lanka last year raised taxes particularly on smaller vehicles, which are bought by less-affluent consumers, which come primarily from India.
The Indian High Commission (embassy) in Colombo said, there would be no sourcing requirement for fabric for up to eight million pieces of fabric exported from Sri Lanka each year from the current five under the Indo Lanka Free Trade Agreement.
The validity of a sanitary import permit (SIP) for processed livestock products had been extended to one year from the current six months.
The high commission said on September 06, 2012, export tax for Sri Lankan made fabric was cut to 5.0 percent from 11.0 percent under the South Asia Free Trade Arrangement.
Citizens of India and Sri Lanka traded freely in ancient times and Sri Lanka was part of a 'Silk Route of the Sea' that was at time controlled by India based empires and later by European powers.
After independence from British rule and the rise of economic nationalism rulers of both countries raised trade barriers and reduced the ability of their citizens to trade freely and the entire South Asian region lagged behind the rest of the world except Africa.
Related Info :
• India & Sri Lanka Sign Deals Worth $ 703mn and Five Bilateral Agreements. Highlight of the Visit of India’s Foreign Minister S M Krishna
• Sri Lanka Exports to India up 10 fold as Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement Marks 10 Yrs