June 08, 2010 (LBO) – A top Sri Lankan exporter which is already doing business in India has backed the signing of a new deal to further open trade between the two countries, building on an existing ten-year-old agreement. However other exporters have had problems, with individual state taxes hitting them even if national import duties were lifted. There was also a peculiar provision of limiting some goods to specific ports.
India’s envoy to Colombo Ashok Kantha said India has had a smaller ‘negative list’ in the original deal than Sri Lanka and trade was growing.
Freedom of Exchange
Opening trade – with India or any other country – allows ordinary people to exchange goods with their counterparts across a political border more easily, enhancing the living standard of everyone.
In the last century trade restrictions increased with many countries running into ‘foreign exchange shortages’ due to contradictory monetary policy practised by central banks.
Contradictory monetary policy involves targeting both the exchange rates and interest rates at the same time, which causes high inflation generally and ‘balance of payments crises’ in extreme cases.
South Asia, including Sri Lanka which had a cu