This is further to our circular dated 23/11/2017 informing you about the negotiations for India- Sri Lanka ETCA (Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement) and ministry’s request for inputs. We await responses from the members in this regard.
As you might be aware, India & Sri Lanka have signed India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ISLFTA). This FTA was signed in 1998 and entered into force in March 2000.
Under this agreement, both countries had agreed to phase out tariffs within a fixed time frame, except for those products in the Negative List of each other. India has provided duty-free access to almost all the lines other than Negative list, except a few lines (textiles related) on which 25% duty concessions are provided. Sri Lanka has provided duty-free access for almost all the products except a few lines on which some tariff is prescribed, other than Negative list. India maintains a Negative List of 417 products (HS Code 2017 at 6 digits) whereas Sri Lanka has kept around 1220 products in its Negative List. No tariff concessions are given on products under Negative list.
Further, India and Sri Lanka are also members of SAFTA, which is a regional free trade Agreement. Under SAFTA, India maintains a sensitive list of 615 products for non LDCs, including Sri Lanka while the number of products in the revised sensitive list of Sri Lanka for Phase-II is 963 for NLDCs and 837 for LDCs. Sri Lanka has agreed to reduction in the products covered in their Sensitive Lists under Phase-III by 10%.
We have now received communication from the Deputy Secretary, FT (SA) Division, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, GoI informing us that India & Sri Lanka have now started negotiations on an Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) which will cover services, investment and other sectors, in addition to trade in goods. Six rounds of negotiations on the proposed ETCA have been completed.
The Department of Commerce has sought our inputs on following:
(i) Identify those products-
Ø which may be excluded from the existing Negative List of products on which no concessions are given by India.
Ø which may be excluded from the existing Negative List of products on which no concessions are given by Sri Lanka
(ii) Identify the products outside the negative list of Sri Lanka which attract different tariff rates & on which Sri Lanka can be requested to provide tariff concessions.
(iii) Identify those products outside the negative list of India, on which India can decrease the tariff.
(iv) It is also requested that the products, if any, on which Product Specific Rules of Origin (other than the general Rules of Origin) need to be negotiated may also be identified along with the specific criterion for that product.
In this regard, following lists are enclosed for your perusal:
i. Indian Negative List under ISLFTA.
ii. Indian Sensitive List under SAFTA.
iii.Sri Lankan Negative List under ISLFTA.
iv. Sri Lanka Sensitive List under SAFTA.
v. During the course of negotiations of CEPA in 2008, a list of products proposed to be removed from Negative List maintained by India was prepared. A list of the products is also enclosed.
Kindly note that the 7th round of negotiations for the ETCA has been scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka on 18th-20th December, 2017. Accordingly, a stakeholder meeting is being scheduled to be held before the next round of negotiations, for which the details would be provided soon.
Therefore, members are kindly requested to revert with inputs/ comments latest by 2nd December 2017 on our e-mail ids- firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com for consideration in the stakeholder meeting.
Your timely replies will be appreciated.
Copy of lists + for + staleholder + Consultation