Sri Lanka, Pakistan FTA Talks to Commence

A Pakistani delegation is expected at the beginning of June to finalize the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Sri Lanka. The 4 member delegation will also participate at the third meeting of the Committee of Experts (COE) to discuss the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA).

The Sri Lanka- Pakistan FTA will be discussed over a two-day forum. The Pakistani media have reported “It may be the last meeting between Pakistan and Sri Lanka on that subject”.

The COE meeting will be represented by seven member states. The second meeting of this committee had been held in Islamabad from 5th to 7th May in order to devise mechanisms to implement the SAFTA agreement.

The SAFTA agreement will come into affect as of the 1st January 2006 once all formalities have been completed and ratification by all contracting states of a notification by the SAARC Secretariat. In addition to this there are other issues to be resolved including the draft of SAFTA rules of origin and exchanging initial sensitive lists.