The Commerce Department, under the patronage of the Development Strategies and International Trade Ministry and in collaboration with the Indian High Commission is organising a workshop to improve the awareness of the exporter community on the non-tariff measures and the Indian standards and regulations applicable to Sri Lankan exports.
The proposed workshop will be held tomorrow at Taj Samudra Hotel, Grand Crystal Ballroom, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Designated Indian delegation consisting of officials from the Bureau of Indian Standards, Central Board of Excise and Customs, Food Safety Standards Authority of India and Directorate General of Foreign Trade will be participating as guest speakers of the event.
Approximately 250 participants representing the Sri Lankan exporters/chambers and officials from the trade-related regulatory institutions will be considered as the target audience.
Currently, Sri Lanka exports US $ 0.6 billion worth of goods to India while imports more than US $ 4 billion worth of goods from India. Sri Lanka has been able to promote a diverse range of products under the Indo-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ISFTA), which has been in effect since the year 2000.
However, although tariff barriers have been largely eliminated through the FTA, a number of Sri Lankan exporters have reported various non-tariff measures imposed by the Indian authorities which hinder the market opportunities availed under the agreement. When investigated, the Indian authorities are of the view that the Sri Lankan exporters are not adequately complying with the standards, rules and regulations applicable for the respective products.
The workshop offers an opportunity for the Sri Lankan exporter community to be more cognizant of the relevant rules and regulations applicable for the Indian imports in order to avoid misunderstandings and ensure smooth flow of trade with India. The workshop is expected to offer a platform to discuss matters pertaining to the specific areas of concern under the ISFTA and share views in improving the current regulatory framework and other formalities of trade to ensure better market access to the quality exports from Sri Lanka.