TRADE PACT CAUSES PROBLEMS (99 Jan 06)
Mr. Patrick Amerasinghe, the President of the Sri Lanka's Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry has said that his federation was not consulted before the trade pact with India was signed. He has said that they still did not know what was in the agreement.
Many businessmen and economists feel that the government has rushed into signing the pact without making a detailed study of it. Sri Lanka's main exports tea, rubber,coconut and ready-made garments have been excluded from the free trade agreement leaving nothing tangible to export to India. Sri Lanka which has a high cost of production than India will be badly affected.
Even at present Indian exports to Sri Lanka are 13 times larger than the imports and the free trade agreement is likely to increase this ratio in favour of India.