Chess Game

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe (2nd R) arrives to visit the site of a bomb attack at St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade in Colombo on April 21, 2019. - A string of blasts ripped through high-end hotels and churches holding Easter services in Sri Lanka on April 21, killing at least 156 people, including 35 foreigners. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Apr.24 (LBO) – Sri Lanka plans to ask for more shipments of clothes, edible oils and fewer limits on country of rules origins on exports of key items to India, when both nations meet for trade talks tomorrow, officials said. Four days of trade talks between the two nations under the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement or CEPA are due to take place in Colombo from April 25, after being delayed by nearly a month.

While the spotlight falls on thorny issues like shipments of vanaspati oil and pepper to India, Sri Lanka is also asking its trading partner for help to develop the audiovisual industry and railways.

“These are some of the things that we are putting forward for discussions this week, besides issues to liberalise financial services,” said Nimal Karunatilake, Deputy Director of Commerce.

“We also plan to ask India to be flexible on rules of origin for specific products like jewellery,” he said.

The local gem and jewellery industry imports raw material like gold, but adds value addition through workmanship, stones and designs.

“The trade agreement says we need minimum 35 percent value addition to export to India, but we can’t do it. We can only show about 20-25 percent value addition si