Sri Lanka should take urgent steps to breach the export import mismatch with India, said Chief Negotiator/International Trade Office, K J Weerasinghe.
He said that imports to Sri Lanka are around USD 4.4 billion against Sri Lanka’s exports of around USD 900 million. He was addressing the Outlook on Proposed Free Trade Agreements seminar on how proposed FTA’s will impact the exporters, organised by National Chamber of Exporters in Colombo yesterday.
Weerasinghe said that when FTA’S are put into place these kinds of mismatches arise. The best way to work on this is to increase exports.
He also said that they are also looking at the removal of apparel quota from India as it would help this segment to increase trade. Sri Lanka imported apparel raw material to the value of nearly USD 500 million including around USD 50 million for yarn.
He said Sri Lanka apparel exporters also must look at exporting branded apparel items to china as there is a huge demand for it. In addition to this there is a huge USD one billion export potential for gems but a 30% internal tax in China has to be looked at by exporters. He said that FTA’ for export-oriented foreign strategically important countries such as India, China and Thailand will be revived/entered upon to improve export potential of local industries.
Source: Daily News