Sri Lanka, India to expand FTA

Colombo, July 10:

India and Sri Lanka will expand their free trade agreement with a new pact to be signed on the sidelines of a South Asian summit in Colombo, diplomats said today.

The two countries entered a free trade deal in 1998 limiting tariff concessions to goods but the new Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) covers services such as banking and also allows greater cooperation between customs administrations. They will conclude the pact during the two-day South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit starting on August 1, a diplomat said.

Sri Lanka’s exports to India increased from $49 million in 1999 to $516 million last year while Indian exports rose to $2.7 billion last year, up from $549 million in 1999.