Sri Lanka - Thailand FTA to be signed before end of this quarter

Cabinet Spokesman and Mass Media Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena yesterday said that the Cabinet of Ministers approved further action regarding the Free Trade Agreement between Sri Lanka and Thailand.

He also mentioned that the Free Trade Agreement between Thailand and Sri Lanka is expected to be signed before the end of this quarter. The minister said this yesterday (14) while attending the press conference to inform the Cabinet decisions held at the Government Information Department.

The cabinet spokesperson said that the country will be opened to a wide range through this free trade agreement with the government of Thailand, which a Buddhist country, and that the government will make every effort to speed up this agreement. He mentioned that this Buddhist connection is also a good opportunity for religious tourism. The preliminary work of the free trade agreement between Sri Lanka and Thailand started in 2016. The government expects to increase the current bilateral trade value from US$ 550 million to 1.5 billion US dollars.

Commenting further, the minister said that the Thailand trade agreement is already long overdue. He also said that this trade agreement will be a good opportunity for tourism, foreign investment and winning the market.

The first round of talks was held in July 2018 and the second round of talks was held in Bangkok, Thailand in September 2018.

The third round of discussions was held in Colombo on January 9 and 10 this year and President Ranil Wickremesinghe presented matters to the Cabinet yesterday regarding the progress of those rounds, the Minister mentioned.

by Daily News Sri Lanka

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