Sri Lanka has exported five times more than its imports under the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement in the first nine months of this year, 2022. A report issued by the Sri Lankan finance ministry stated that the island nation’s exports added up to over 140 billion Lankan rupees under the agreement. Imports into Sri Lanka from India stood at 28 billion rupees.
Trade with India contributed to almost 65 percent of the total trade of Sri Lanka under four existing free trade agreements. The India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement was signed in 1998 and is in force since March 2000.
The economic crisis hit the nation and it saw reduced imports in 2022 due to a fall in the forex reserves. Sri Lanka had also imposed restrictions on import of several items. During the crisis, India had extended humanitarian aid of about 4 billion US dollars to help secure food, health, and energy security.
In the Annual Budget 2023 tabled on November 14, Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremasinghe said that Colombo aims to double the international trade in the coming decade with an annual growth of 3 billion US dollars.
Earlier, in September this year, the Indian High Commission held discussions with Sri Lankan government on restructuring Sri Lanka’s bilateral debt to India. The discussions were part of India’s efforts to an early conclusion of a suitable IMF programme that requires assurances from creditors to make Sri Lanka’s debt sustainable.
Source : newsonair