More than 250 eager representatives from 80 Lankan firms thronged the recently concluded pioneering workshop in Colombo on Indian Non-Tariff Measures.
The workshop on Non-Tariff Measures and Increasing Awareness of Indian Standards and Regulations, organised by the Department of Commerce with the patronage of the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade and in collaboration with the Indian High Commission in Colombo on March 4 was packed by Lankan exporters eager to gain an in-depth understanding of way forward with the 1.2 billion subcontinental market. Joining the inauguration was India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Y.K. Sinha and Director General of Commerce Ms Sonali Wijeratne.
The workshop offered the opportunity to discuss matters pertaining to the specific areas of concern for Sri Lankan exporters under ISFTA. The designated Indian delegation consisted of officials from the Bureau of Indian Standards, Central Board of Excise & Customs, Food Safety Standards Authority of India, Plant and Livestock Quarantine and Directorate General of Foreign Trade. The audience evinced much enthusiasm in discussing the individual issues encountered in exporting and shared their views in improving the current regulatory framework and other formalities of trade to improve better market access to the quality exports from Sri Lanka to India. Approximately 250 participants representing the Sri Lankan exporters/chambers and officials from the trade related regulatory institutions participated at this event. Although tariff barriers have been largely eliminated through the FTA, a number of Sri Lankan exporters have reported various non-tariff measures imposed by the Indian authorities which hinder the market opportunities availed under the Agreement. Upon investigations, the Indian authorities are of the view that Sri Lankan exporters are not adequately complying with the standards, rules and regulations applicable for the respective products.