Federation of Chambers of
Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka

Research and Policy Advocacy

With the view to fulfilling a long-felt need of the Federation, a new core unit designated as “Research and Policy Advocacy Unit” was established in August of the year under review. The Former Ambassador/ Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the World Trade Organization (WTO) has been assigned to head the Unit with the assistance of a Research Coordinator who has specialized in law and research.

The objective of the establishment of this Unit is to conduct need-based, demand-driven and objective research on all aspects on national economy and on government’s macroeconomic policy and its impact on the business community, particularly on SMEs. The Unit is also expected to engage in public policy advocacy on important issues to the business community and also to act as an in-house policy advocacy arm of the Federation.

In the sphere of macro economic policy analysis and public policy advocacy, the Unit has embarked on a public policy dialogue through print and electronic media by publishing of a series of research papers, under the title of “Trade Watch.” These research papers attempted to analyze important macro-economic policy framework of the Government and its impact on the business community, while making proposals to improve the policy environments conducive for the business community particularly, for Sri Lankan exporters and SMEs. The following research papers have been published in the print media and subsequently compiled as a blog on FCCISL website.

  1. “Review of Reforms on Rules of Origin of European Union GSP Scheme” (This article reviews the main features of the reforms of EU-ROO and its implications on Sri Lankan industrial sector and exports.)
  2. “Important Notice to the Exporters under the US-GSP Scheme” (This notice elaborates the effect on temporary suspension of US GSP Scheme to beneficiary countries.)
  3. “Review on Revisions Proposed by the Budget 2011 on Nation Building Tax (NBT)” (An analysis of NBT tax and its implications to the Sri Lankan Trade and Industry with particular emphasis on Wholesale and Retail Trade.)
  4. “FCCISL Welcome Development Oriented Budget 2011” (A comprehensive analysis and guide to the budget 2011)
  5. “Round up on 16th SAARC Summit: Is SAARC a “half empty train journey?”(A research paper compiled on the basis of seminar organized by the FCCISL on Regional Trade Integration and proposals to strengthen the SAARC Corporation.)
  6. “European Union Grants Exclusive Trade Concession to Pakistan” (An analysis of the implications of EU granting exclusive tariff concession to Pakistan and its ramifications on Sri Lankan Trade and Industry.)
  7. “Visit of Iranian Trade Delegation to Sri Lanka” (A research paper describing as to how we could expand trade and economic relations with Iran)
  8. “A Review on recent trend of world trade and Sri Lanka’s international trade” (A statistical analysis of the current trends and future prospects of world trade and its implications on Sri Lanka.)

These articles are available on www.blog.fccisl.lk for further discussion.

As a part of in-house policy support, the Research Unit prepared the following two presentations and delivered at Seminars organized by the FCCISL for Sri Lankan business community.

  1. Budget 2011 and its implications on Sri Lankan Business Community.
  2. Multilateral and regional trade rules on Accreditation, Conformity Assessment and Mutual Recognition Agreement.

The Unit also actively participated as resource persons at the Seminar jointly organized by the International Trade Centre and Institute of Policy Studies on Non-Tariff measures and its effects on Sri Lankan Export Trade held in Colombo.

With a view to obtaining inputs from the business community, an electronic survey has been organized to gather information on offers and requests in respect of the negotiations of Proposed SAARC Services Agreement.

The Unit represented the FCCISL at a number of Government and semi-government organizations by providing inputs on various trade issues to obtain best policy formulation for the SME Sector. These representations included inter-alia, selection of Presidential Exports Awards being organized by the EDB, number of joint commission meetings held in Sri Lanka with Sri Lankan trading partners and consultation on electricity tariff, proposed reforms on higher education, aid for trade, proposed SAARC services agreement and revision of EU GSP ROO.

Two policy papers on the following subjects have been prepared and submitted to policy makers for further consideration.

  1. “Multilateral trade rules on exports subsidy and its application on Sri Lanka.”
  2. “Application of WTO trade remedies/measures to address the problems of injury to domestic industry.”

Proposals have also been made to improve the business environment to the policy makers prior to the budget proposals 2011.

Some of the proposals contained in those policy papers and the submissions made prior to budget 2011 have been taken into consideration by the government in the preparation of the budget in 2011.

The long-term objective of this Unit is to achieve the status of fully fledged Research and Policy Advocacy Unit in order to undertake and conduct research studies on behalf of the international institutions, organizations, regional institutions, national governments and for private sector business on trade and economies issues.