The Indo-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ISFTA) is a bilateral trade agreement signed between India and Sri Lanka that aims to increase trade between the two countries. The agreement was signed in 1998 and came into effect in March 2000. Under the agreement, both countries agreed to reduce or eliminate tariffs on a large number of products. Since then, the two countries have been consistently working towards strengthening their economic ties.
Recently, the Sri Lankan government issued a customs notification regarding the ISFTA. According to the notification, the following products will be added to the list of items that are eligible for duty concessions:
1. Coconut oil
2. Engine oil
7. Vehicle spare parts
This move is expected to facilitate increased trade between India and Sri Lanka, as these products are in high demand in both countries. It will provide an opportunity for Indian businesses to expand their exports to Sri Lanka and vice versa.
The Sri Lankan government has also taken steps to streamline the ISFTA process, including the establishment of a Trade Helpdesk to assist importers and exporters. The government has also introduced an online platform to facilitate the application process for ISFTA certificates of origin.
The ISFTA has played a significant role in increasing trade between India and Sri Lanka. In 2019-20, the two countries` bilateral trade was valued at $4.7 billion, with India being Sri Lanka`s largest trading partner. The ISFTA has contributed to the growth of various sectors, including textiles, tea, and spices.
In conclusion, the recent customs notification issued by the Sri Lankan government regarding the ISFTA is a positive move towards strengthening the economic ties between India and Sri Lanka. The inclusion of new products in the list of eligible items will provide opportunities for businesses in both countries to expand their exports and boost their economies. The streamlined process for obtaining ISFTA certificates of origin will also facilitate increased trade between the two countries.