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Talk Economics SL: "10 yrs since the Indo-SL Free Trade Agreement"

May 25, 2010 11:57:34 PM- transcurrents.com

Tweet bundle ~ from a live update of The Institute of Policy Studies Seminar, reviewing SL-India Free Trade Agreement May24-25:

IPS just kick-started 2 day conference on "10 yrs since the Indo-SL Free Trade Agreement"

Sarath Amunugama (Dep Finance Min), top public officials, biz leaders and economists present.

IPSTC520.jpgVikram Misry, Deputy Indian High Comm, pledges to fix current hiccups and strengthen the trade agreement.

Dep. Indian High Comm calls for stronger linkages in biz value-chains b/wn the 2 economies.

SL enterprises w/ strong standing in India - Brandix, MAS, Heritance, Colombo Dockyard.

Indian brands making strong headway in SL - Indian IOC, Ultratech cement, Bharti Airtel, CEAT tyres.

Dr.Kelegama (Exec Dir, IPS) - nearly 65% of Indian imports to SL hv been outside the FTA, esp. fuel.

Colombo Dockyard is main ship-building and repair provider to India, 78% of biz is w/ India.

Sri Lankan Airlines is the biggest foreign airline operating in India.

Publicity value for SL from IIFA likely to touch $150mn - Dep. Indian High Comm.

Looking at the Achievements, Challenges and Road Ahead, 10 yrs since signing the agreement.

"FTA signing was political decision, economic rationale follwed" -KJ Weerasinghe(fmr DG Dept. of Commerce).

"Lets have more joint ventures, integrate supply chains" - Sarath Amunugama (Dep. Finance Min.).

"Proposed CEPA is abt fixing current flaws, as much as abt opening up further" -Santosh Jha, Indian High Comm.

"Key aim of an FTA should be creating more jobs" - Koshi Mathai, IMF Country Rep in SL.

CEAT Kelani & Lanka Ashok Leyland, examples of successful Joint Ventures -Saman Kelegama(IPS).

"Time for SL to figure out its India strategy. Do you want to export more tea or more ships?"-Santosh Jha (Indian HC).

Exports to India grew fast in first 5 yrs of FTA but recent decline due vanaspathi/copper collapse.

Rapid rise in Indian investment in #srilanka since signing FTA in 2000 -Deshal De Mel(IPS).

SL IT firms, Interblocks and Microimage, developed tech solutions for Indian banks and telcos.

India is 3rd highest export destination, but need to diversify product range - Deshal de Mel (IPS).

Sales of MAS lingerie range in India 'Amante' has grown by 100% each year since 2007.

"Need better legal frameworks w/ India to support govt's 5 Hub vision" -Rohan Samarajiva (LIRNEasia).

"India pushing for more bilaterals, working on the basis that Doha is dead" -Rohan Samarajiva (LIRNEasia).

"No wonder we hv to go for bilateral FTAs, SAARC is deader than Doha!" -Rohan Samarajiva (LIRNEasia).

"let's sign the CEPA and fully integrate w/ the Indian economy - a rocket that's abt to take off"- Rohan Samarajiva.

"Trade is much more diversified than under any other agreement" -Govt's chief trade negotiator Gomi Senadheera.

"Need to analyse if informal trade has fallen due to the FTA" -Dr.Sarvanathan(Point Pedro Institute).

"Trade is much more diversified than under any other agreement" -Govt's chief trade negotiator Gomi Senadheera.

"Need to analyse if informal trade has fallen due to the FTA" -Dr.Sarvanathan(Point Pedro Institute).

"Revive plans for Indo-SL bridge+direct link to Talaimannar, KKS" -Dr.Sarvananthan(Point Pedro Institute).

Altho hard to quantify, peripheral benefit of the FTA has been big, e.g.70% Indian transhipment handled by CMB.

At Indo-SL FTA conference, Minister Amunugama says "go for more Joint Ventures, integrated production" http://bit.ly/aduGTO

day 2 of the Indo-SL FTA conference Colombo. Todays topics: making the FTA more effective,pvt sector views, way fwd

"agreement was signed in a hurry, not enough stakeholder dialogue at that time" - fmr. DG.

"mutual recognition agreements for quality standards must be fastracked"-SL's fmr. chief trade negotiator.

"this was a marriage between a sumo wrestler and a ballet dancer" -Bandula Perera.

"FTAs must benefit the people. Hv we analysed how many jobs were created/lost by this FTA?" –industrialist.

Indian H.C. Commerce Secr calls on SL govt. to kickstart CEPA talks, disappointed that it's stalled.

"we hv learnt to better address stakeholder concerns, valuable for future treaties" SL's fmr Trade Chief.

North&East of SL to get ice plants, crucial to leverage fishing industry potential there http://bit.ly/cro8fZ

SL more investor-friendly than India, no. of Indian investments growing - Rajesh Ratna, Indian Economist.

"quality of SL products set new benchmarks in Indian industry" - Somi Hazari (Indian biz leader).

Broader, effective stakeholder consultation is key to ease public concerns surrounding a trade agreement.

...but transparency is tricky, limitations in revealing key negotiating points to broader public.

Successful SL firms in India - Brandix Lanka operates massive 1,000 acre textile park.

"pick winning SL brands & push them hard in India, catalyse Joint Ventures"-Rohantha Athukorala (UNOPS).

Successful firms in Indian mkt - 53% of Colombo Dockyard's ship build/repair revenue generated frm India.

Click for updates from Institute of Policy Studies