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 Post subject: Pakistan-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement comes into force
 Post Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 4:25 pm 
Pakistan-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement comes into force

R. Gopalakrishnan
© Copyright 2000 - 2005 The Hindu


CHENNAI: The Pakistan-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA) has come into force from June 12, marking a new stage in regional economic integration.

Covering 100 per cent duty concession offered by Pakistan on 206 products and by Sri Lanka on 102 products (under the six-digit HS classification), the FTA has been implemented a little more than five years after the India-Sri Lanka FTA was ushered in.

Items in the zero duty list of Pakistan (subject to application of the mutually agreed rules of origin) include frozen fish, vegetables, spices, fruits/juices, polymers of vinyl chloride in primary forms, natural rubber (excluding latex), raw silk, tanned/crust skins, wool, some varieties of paper and board, carpet and floor covering, non-alloy aluminium, iron and steel products and toys/dolls.

Sri Lanka's nil duty items under the FTA include chickpeas, dates, oranges, benzene, toluene, apparel and clothing accessories, ball bearing, penicillin/streptomycin/tetracycline and their derivatives and vacuum flasks (excluding glass inners).

The negative ("no concession'') list of both countries is much longer. Pakistan has named 540 items in its negative list, including dairy products, green/black tea, animal/vegetable oils and fats, cigarettes/tobacco, liquor, certain categories of paints/varnishes, polymers, yarn (excluding sewing thread) and iron/non-alloy steel. Sri Lanka's negative list includes 697 items.

Among these are bovine meat, some marine products, yogurt, curled milk, vegetables, raw sugar, bread, petrol/kerosene, polymers and tyres.

The agreement provides for safeguard actions in the case of serious injury and threat of serious injury to domestic industry and "critical circumstances'' arising from preferential imports.

It says the two countries shall not increase existing "para tariffs'' (namely, border charges and fees other than tariffs levied solely on imports) or introduce new ones without mutual consent.

The FTA specifically provides that the two parties honour the principle of national treatment (non- discrimination against imports vis-a-vis domestically produced goods) embodied in the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

© Copyright 2000 - 2005 The Hindu


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