India has approved a request made by Sri Lanka to remove a condition of sourcing of fabric from India in order to increase the number of garments Sri Lanka can export to India under the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement.
During the visit of Indian Minister of Commerce, Industry & Textiles, Anand Sharma to Sri Lanka from 3-5 August, 2012, the Sri Lankan government has requested, India to remove the condition of sourcing of fabric from India for 5 million pieces under the terms of the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement so that the total quota for duty free apparel exports from Sri Lanka to India becomes 8 million pieces, without any condition on fabric sourcing.
The High Commission of India in Colombo said that it formally handed over the relevant notification regarding the removal of the fabric sourcing condition to the Director General of Sri Lanka Department of Commerce yesterday (March 26).
Indian government has also notified SAFTA duty concessions on 6 September 2012. Under this revised SAFTA duty regime notified by India for non-LDC countries, Sri Lankan textiles exports would attract a duty of 5%, as against the earlier 11%. This is another step that will facilitate greater Sri Lankan exports of readymade garments to the Indian market, the High Commision said in a release.
On 27 February 2013, the High Commission of India had informed the Sri Lanka's Ministry of Commerce and Industry, regarding the decision of the Government of India to extend the validity period of Sanitary Import Permits (SIPs) for export of meat products to India. The extension was accorded in response to a request made by the Sri Lankan Industry and the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka.
As per the new notification by the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Government of India, the permits will now be issued for imports of processed livestock products into India for a period of one year. The validity period earlier was six months.
During the 8th India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission meeting held on 22 January 2013 at New Delhi, both countries had agreed to cooperate closely to forge closer economic and trade linkages and take steps to double the bilateral trade to reach US$ 10 billion in next three years.
The two sides also agreed to consider working towards increasing Sri Lanka's export capacity. By providing greater market access to Sri Lankan readymade garments and implementing trade facilitation measures such as extending the validity of sanitary import permits, the Government of India is committed to facilitate Sri Lankan exports and enhancing bilateral trade, the High Commission said in its statement.
Sri Lanka's export to India has increased substantially since the coming into force of the India-Sri Lanka FTA, reaching US$ 720.89 million in the year 2011-12, according to statistics compiled by India's Department of Commerce. For the period April-December 2012, Sri Lanka's exports to India were US$ 528.76 million.