Quick Chat

Apr. 03 (LBO) – Sri Lanka will take up thorny issues like shipments of pepper and vanaspati oil to India, when both sides meet for trade talks in Colombo this month, an official said Monday. Four days of trade talks between the two nations under the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement or CEPA are due to take place from April 24, after being delayed by nearly a month.

“It’s a technical level talk, to take on contentious issues like pepper and vansapati,” Assistant Director, Commerce Department, Samantha Wijesekera told LBO on Monday.

Sri Lanka is pushing for greater access into the Indian banking industry and for open skies agreement with India on the sidelines of trade talks in May to liberalise service sectors of both countries.

Both sides are also finalising positions for CEPA talks, with areas like shipping, tourism and financial services also making the list.

About 17 percent of Sri Lanka’s total imports (US$1.4 billion) come from India, mostly on account of petroleum, cement, motor vehicles, lentils and onions.

India is also Sri Lanka’s third largest export market, buying up US$560 million in goods last year, ranging from vegetable oils, copper, pep