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Govt. expects to conclude talks by year’s end

FTAs with India, China and Singapore:

The government expects to conclude its discussions on Free Trade Agreements (FTA)

between India, China and Singapore by the end of this year.

Development Strategies and International Trade, Minister Malik Samarawickrama presenting the report from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management to Cabinet had explained that the FTAs would be the best way to open up markets for Sri Lankan exports.

He had further noted that the government had four rounds of talks with India, six rounds of talks with China and five with Singapore thus far on working out a FTA between the relevant countries and Sri Lanka. While Sri Lanka and India already share an FTA it is expected to be further widened in the form of the Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA).

The FTAs had covered the areas of trading in goods, services, investments, protective ways of handling plant and medical material, ease of trade, economic cooperation and government department procurements (with regard to the Singaporean government) and Customs operations between the various countries.