GG News Bureau
New Delhi, 2nd Nov. India and Sri Lanka held the 12th round of negotiations on the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 30th October 2023 to 1st November 2023.
The two countries had 11 rounds of bilateral talks from 2016 to 2018.
Thereafter the negotiations were paused.
The Sri Lankan delegation was led by K J Weerasinghe, Chief Negotiator and the Indian delegation was led by Anant Swarup, Joint Secretary in the Department of Commerce, Government & Chief Negotiator.
During this round, both the sides took stock of the progress made till the 11th round and engaged in discussions on various chapters including Trade in Goods, Technical Barriers to Trade, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, Trade in Services, Custom Procedure & Trade Facilitation, Rules of Origin, Trade Remedies, Economic & Technology Cooperation and Dispute Settlement. Both sides identified the areas of convergence and areas where they need to find creative solutions.
During this round, both sides reviewed the progress on implementation and decided to drop 9 issues as being resolved.
Issues such as the quota on apparel and pepper and the procurement of pharmaceuticals were also discussed and both sides decided to continue the discussion and explore new options for resolution of the matter.
On the proposed ETCA, both sides agreed on the need to build on progress made in the past, while revisiting their positions wherever possible to reflect new developments.
The conclusion of the negotiations is expected to open new opportunities for trade and economic cooperation for both countries.
The India-Sri Lanka ETCA will be a pivotal move to further enhance bilateral trade between the two countries.
Both sides acknowledged the huge potential in India and Sri Lanka trade partnership and the possibilities for enhanced economic relations in areas of mutual interest.