Blowing Cold

Is South Asia actually heading towards an area of free trade or towards free floating discussions for a never never land?

SARRCs committee of experts met for a third round of discussions on taking the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) forward, earlier this month in Colombo.rn

rnThe next round of talks is fixed for August in Thimpu, Bhutan when countries will, among other things, exchange their sensitive lists and take up the matter of Rules of Origin.rn

rnBut right now most trade experts are not convinced by the direction or speed of SAFTA negotiations.rn

rnThe problem in a nutshell is that ldblquote There is no concrete implementable plan,
dblquote as Dr Upali Wickramasinghe, Senior Lecturer, University of Sri Jayawardanepura, pointed out at the SAARC Summit follow up on Monday.rn

rnThe South Asia Centre for Policy Studies (SACPS) and the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) organised the SAARC follow up to discuss SAFTA and other SAARC decisions from Islamabad.rn

rnWickramasinghe poi