The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) says Sri Lanka lacks a Trade Policy and has urged for a formulation of a policy framework in consultation with the stakeholders in the business community.

This concern was raised in the recently held Policy Advocacy Forum organized by the FCCISL in Colombo. The forum saw the participation of 40 chambers representing various sectors in the country and 20 institutions. The participants, at the end of the conference laid out suggestions and concerns pertaining to their respective sectors.

President of the FCCISL, Ajith Perera addressing a media briefing after the forum said that a trade policy was a must for businesses and investments to develop and to ascertain a clear path for the future of the country. “What happens is that whoever formulates the policies does not involve the business community for its input in the planning stages,” he said.

He stated that the participants at the forum had also expressed concerns over the possible impact due to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that is expected to be signed between the United States and 13 countries. The countries include Brunei, Chile, Singapore, United States, Australia, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico, Canada and Japan.

“We have to study the agreement and assess how that would affect our markets. In addition, we also need to formulate plans to face the challenges that could come our way due to the agreement,” Perera said.

Further, the participants in the forum had also suggested the introduction of electronic documentation for importers.
Accordingly, the system would enable importers to share documents via computer networks, and streamline documentation processes. “Currently, this system is in place for exporters. We are looking at possibilities of introducing the system for exporters as well,” Perera added.