India Offers Concessions For Apparel Exporters

India has offered concessions for apparel exports from Sri Lanka.

The concessions were sought by Sri Lanka during the visit of Anand Sharma, Minister of Commerce, Industry & Textiles, Government of India to Sri Lanka from last year.  Sri Lanka had made a request that, in respect of the export of Sri Lankan garments to India under the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement, the condition of sourcing of fabric from India for 5 million pieces be removed so that the total quota for duty free apparel exports from Sri Lanka to India becomes 8 million pieces, without any condition on fabric sourcing.
“ As committed by  Anand Sharma, the Government of India has approved the Sri Lankan request for removal of the fabric sourcing condition, thereby bring to 8 million pieces the number of garments that can be exported from Sri Lanka to India duty-free, under the terms of the bilateral Free Trade Agreement.  The relevant notification in this regard was formally handed over to the Director General, Department of Commerce, Government of Sri Lanka’ the High Commission of India said in a press release.

“Further, the Government of India also notified SAFTA duty concessions on 6 September 2012. Under this revised SAFTA duty regime notified by India for non-LDC countries, Sri Lankan textiles exports would attract a duty of 5%, as against the earlier 11%. This is another step that will facilitate greater Sri Lankan exports of readymade garments to the Indian market”, the release said.

The release also said;
      On 27 February 2013, the High Commission of India had informed the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of Sri Lanka, regarding the decision of the Government of India to extend the validity period of Sanitary Import Permits (SIPs) for export of meat products to India. The extension was accorded in response to a request made by the Sri Lankan Industry and the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka.  As per the new notification by the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Government of India, the permits will now be issued for imports of processed livestock products into India for a period of one year. The validity period earlier was six months.

It may be recalled that during the 8th India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission meeting held on 22 January 2013 at New Delhi, both countries had  agreed to cooperate closely to forge closer economic and trade linkages and take steps to double the bilateral trade to reach US $ 10 billion in next three years.  The two sides also agreed to consider working towards increasing Sri Lanka’s export capacity. By providing greater market access to Sri Lankan readymade garments and implementing trade facilitation measures such as extending the validity of sanitary import permits, the Government of India’s commitment to facilitating Sri Lankan exports and enhancing bilateral trade is clear.

Sri Lanka’s export to India has increased substantially since the coming into force of the India-Sri Lanka FTA, reaching USD 720.89 million in the year 2011-12, according to statistics compiled by the Department of Commerce, Government of India. For the period April-December 2012, Sri Lanka’s export to India were USD 528.76 million.

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