The Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association (SLAEA) recently urged the government to negotiate through the Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) for sector-specific liberalisation so that apparel manufacturers from the country can have greater access to the Indian market. Sri Lanka’s apparel exports to India are limited, up to $40 mn.

Despite the request, SLAEA sees ‘a serious reluctance’ in the negotiation process, its Chairman Rehan Lakhany said at the 36th Annual General Meeting of the association. SLAEA drew the attention of the high commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu, who was present at the meeting, to the issue and hoped that a negotiated settlement is possible, according to a report.

Lakhany requested Sandhu to initiate any interim measure to enhance the quota of eight mn pieces, without attaching strings like the usage of the Indian fabric. Lakhany also urged the Export Development Board to avoid introducing ad-hoc policies and practices by different authorities without consultation, which may disturb the business environment.