ISFTAInstitute for Solid Fuels Technology and Applications (Greece)
ISFTAInternational Sports and Fitness Trainers Association
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Vish Govindaswamy, during their remarks, sought to dispel the misconceptions surrounding some of the criticisms of the ISFTA. Although there was a commonly-held misconception that a FTA between a large and a small country would appear to bring all benefits for the larger country, if the asymmetry between the two countries was duly accommodated by recognizing the principle of Special and Differential Treatment (SDT) for the small country, a "win-win" situation could be worked out.
This asymmetry was accommodated in the ISFTA right from the outset, by offering a longer tariff liberalization period for Sri Lanka, a larger negative list, favourable rules of origin, etc.
I request Geely to use our Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ISFTA) and Sri Lanka Pakistan Free Trade Agreement to export to these two huge markets from Sri Lanka, after which Geely can expand its exports to other South Asian markets from here thereby contributing to our exports basket.
Once the notification by the Government of India is issued, Sri Lanka will be able to export 8 million pieces of readymade garments to India at zero duty under India- Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ISFTA).
Under the existing arrangement under ISFTA, India has granted two sets of apparel quotas at zero duty to Sri Lanka: 3 million pieces without fabric sourcing requirements from India and another 5 million pieces per year, which should be only made of Indian fabrics.
These two are important exports originating from here to your markets and also further liberalise both garment and textile under the Indo - Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ISFTA) (HS Code 61 are articles of apparel and clothing accessories, knitted or crocheted and HS Code 62 are articles of apparel and clothing accessories, not knitted or crocheted).
You may have also noted that during the year 2011 the total trade between our 02 countries under ISFTA has been nearly 01 Billion US Dollars.
Sri Lankan side led by Minister Bathiudeen highlighted in detail the concerns raised by domestic stakeholders with regard to certain issues relating to implementation of the Info Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ISFTA).
The existing ISFTA will become the Good Chapter of CEPA with further improvements.
The objective of the Conference was to discuss the outcomes of a study carried out by the Institute of Policy Studies on TF issues identified by both Sri Lankan and Indian exporters/importers that use ISFTA and to arrive at possible modalities as to how these measures could be implemented in Sri Lanka based on international best practices.
The survey indicated that in a tariff free environment it is important to reduce transaction costs associated with trade in order to harness the full benefits of the ISFTA. Given that the trade facilitation related provisions in the agreement are limited, it is key that these are implemented in line with best practices identified in other countries and agreements in areas such as mutual recognition agreements, risk management and single window.