New IPS study sheds light on issues faced by Lankans exporting to India under FTA

Given the close proximity to India, which is one of the most dynamic and rapidly expanding economies, it is important to facilitate trade between India and Sri Lanka to tap into this growing market. 

The latest study by the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS) – ‘Facilitating Trade Between India and Sri Lanka’ – examines the main trade facilitation-related issues Sri Lankan traders face when importing and exporting under the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA). 
Currently, Sri Lanka and India have duty-free access to each other’s markets through the India-Sri Lanka FTA, except for those items under the negative list and quota restrictions.  

Nevertheless, the utilization of the agreement by both Sri Lankan and Indian traders has been limited in recent years. Given the significance of improving bilateral trade with India, the study co-authored by Suwendrani Jayaratne and Janaka Wijayasiri identify the rejection of products entitled for concessions, non-acceptance of Sri Lankan standard certification, excessive time taken for product testing, complexity and difficulties in obtaining information and lack of efficient border controls and coordination as some of the key barriers at the border in trading with India. 

Towards addressing these issues, the study recommends educating traders and Customs officials of goods eligible for concessions, facilitating testing/certification, streamlining customs procedures, establishing a help/information desk and incorporating trade facilitation as a key component in any future agreement negotiated with India.For more details on this publication visit the IPS website or email [email protected].  

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