The Institute of Policy Studies was requested to look into the progress of economic cooperation in SAARC as a background report for the Presidential Committee on SAARC Preferential Trade Arrangement (SAPTA), prior to the 10th Heads of State Summit held in Colombo in 1998. With the implementation of SAPTA in December 1995, and following two rounds of trade negotiations, concessions on nearly 1900 products had been agreed upon. The Report makes a preliminary assessment of the impact of SAPTA concessions on Sri Lanka’s export and import trade with her SAARC partners. The Report finds that progress has been limited, allowing negligible coverage of traded products, limited tariff concessions, and continuing non-tariff barriers to hinder any move in the direction of greater trade liberalization in the South Asian region.
Report of the Committee on SAPTA