India wants 187 items removed from Sri Lanka’s negative list that gives protection to 1,180 items

Sri Lanka and India will meet in mid August for another round of hard bargaining on the Indo-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ISLFTA). Sri Lanka and India will meet in mid August for another round of hard bargaining on the Indo-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ISLFTA). The three day meetings starting on August 16 will end with exploratory talks on the proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

“We will meet on 18 next month to discuss the concept approaches to the CEPA,” said the Director General of the Commerce, K J Weerasinghe, addressing a conference on the ISLFTA at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce on Friday.

A joint study on how the current FTA on goods can extend into the realm of services, investments and other areas of joint cooperation, was finalised and presented to the two governments last year.

Now two new governments have reinstated the CEPA and discussions on taking the process forward will begin next month.

But for the most part the August meeting between the two country’s trade negotiators will focus on smoothening out bumps in the existing FTA and lengthening the list of duty free ite