Sri Lanka and India in trade talks in Colombo next week

March 22 (LBO) – Sri Lanka and India will hold another round of trade talks in Colombo next week on liberalizing professional services, investments and trade in goods. The talks on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement or CEPA, has been ongoing for three years, to widen trade to include areas like professional services.

The two sides also want to trim their negative or sensitive lists, with Sri Lanka identifying 57 industrial goods like fish, some spices and fruits that it can free up.

“We are reviewing the existing negative lists and want to reduce the size as far as possible. We are still finalizing the list with the Treasury,” Saman Udagedara, Acting Director of Commerce told businessmen on Thursday.

This would include items not produced locally or those used as raw materials or inputs in Sri Lankan industries.

“Sri Lanka has identified 57 items that it can remove from its negative list, while India has agreed to consider 118 tariff lines, which constitutes 57 industrial items and 61 apparel items.”

The two sides will also look at restrictive rules of origin on some goods or the extent of local value addition needed to qualify for t