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Multilateral Trade Agreements Of Sri Lanka

Traders stressed the need to facilitate visa procedures between two countries if one aims to improve trade relations between them. Sri Lankan exporters to India, for example, said it is extremely difficult to obtain business visas in India and stressed the need to encourage businessmen visiting India and obtain multiple entry visas. The lack of knowledge and awareness among traders of the concessions offered by free trade agreements has been a major obstacle to Sri Lanka`s full benefit from existing free trade agreements. Although the majority of exporters/importers are aware of free trade agreements, many SMEs are not aware of specific information on the tariff concessions offered and on the procedures for acquiring preference (ROO, tariff quotas, etc.). He has produced, individually and collectively, numerous analytical reports and detailed documents for the Sri Lankan government, international and regional institutions. It also focuses on regional and multilateral trade agreements and their impact on the country. He obtained a PhD from De Monash University. He is currently a member of the Talking Economics team. (Talk to Janaka – janaka@ips.lk) The experience gained with ILFTA and attempts to extend the agreement towards a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) underline the need for enhanced public-private dialogue in Sri Lanka on trade agreements on an ongoing and regular basis[viii].

Consultations should not be reserved for the level of Governments alone — financial, commercial or commercial services — but for stakeholders as a whole. This can allay the concerns of exporters and importers, show that the challenges of agreements can be addressed in a participatory manner, and help raise public awareness and build trust in the opportunities and benefits of agreements. . . .

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