Sri Lanka tea, apparel exports to India rise sharply

May 25, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s exports of tea and apparel to India rose sharply in 2009 as impediments in a free trade deal between the two neighbours were removed, an Indian diplomat said. “Most of the implementation issues that have created this so-called perception about the FTA have been resolved and others pertaining to NTBs can be resolved if there is will on the Sri Lankan side to move forward with already negotiated frameworks.”

Bilaterally, the FTA has led to the emergence of a “vibrant” economic relationship and a “quantum jump” in trade, investment and economic cooperation between India and Sri Lanka, Misri said.

“Within two years of its coming into force, we saw a doubling of our trade turnover. In another three years, that is, by 2005, we doubled the trade turnover again. Between 2000 and 2008, the turnover grew five times.”

The trend would have continued in 2009 if not for the global economic crisis.

“It should be a cause for satisfaction that early figures for 2010 are already showing a strong revival of trade between the two countries, which only goes to validate the path we are embarked upon.”

Misri also said that in the past India and Sri La