Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement being studied

FTAA possible Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA) is being studied, with both countries keen on pursuing the deal, Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said on Wednesday, according to Channel News Asia.

The FTA is expected to comprise of commitments in trade in goods, services, investment and government procurement.

Trade and Industry (Industry) Minister S Iswaran who is in Colombo for a three-day working trip, said a decision whether to proceed could be taken soon. Together with his counterpart, Malik Samarawickrama, Sri Lanka’s Minister for Development Strategies and International Trade, Mr Iswaran said officials are working to finalise their studies.

Said Mr Iswaran: “The potential for a good quality bilateral free trade agreement between Sri Lanka and Singapore is there. Our officials have done the studies and they feel both sides stand to benefit significantly. And it will smoothen the way for our business communities to work together.

“The SLSFTA will enhance economic flows by lowering barriers to entry and providing greater market access for both Singapore and Sri Lanka companies,” he added.

Mr Samarawickrama also agreed there would be mutual benefits for both countries, MTI said.

Bilateral trade between the two countries was S$2.05 billion in 2015, according to MTI, while foreign direct investment from Singapore to Sri Lanka stood at S$656 million as of 2014.

Mr Iswaran attended the Sri Lanka-Singapore Business Forum on Wednesday. He said the forum served as a platform for businesses present to foster greater cooperation among themselves and as an opportunity to network with a view to forming long-lasting partnerships. (Colombo Gazette)


  1. The proposed Free Trade Agreement between Sri lanka and Singapore too early to decided.
    Why specially with Singapore would be able to violate WTO rules, when those rules threaten to undermine domestic market and environmental standards or when they hamper the pursuit of sound of development of sustainable policies of Sri lanka path of Capitalism.

    In effect FTA between two countries that would be recast into an expanded on development ,Democracy and Social safeguards.
    In the side of Sri Lankan that applies such safeguards would have to satisfy a key procedural requirement will meet WTO guideline and national vested interest.
    Hence it would need to be demonstrate that it follows ours democratic procedures and norms in reaching the determination that safeguard measure is in public interest of all Island.
    Singapore is one party politics in reality .Its practices of politically that Singapore democracy is not accepted Sri Lankan parliamentary system of governance.
    It is work on lopsided democracy very inceptions by Singhoporean way of one party system of rule over 56 years.

    Needless to say in reality Singapore the special criteria might that transparency ,accountability ,inclusiveness and evidence-base deliberation are not at all.
    This hurdle cannot overcome or replace by proposed FTA ‘s between two nations with short period of time.
    We would examine the degree to which Sri lank standard in which democratic requirement need to be fulfilled.
    1 Views of all relevant parties ,
    2 The consumer and public interest groups
    3 Importers and Exporters.
    4 Civil society organizations
    5 Sufficiently represented all walk of life’s.
    Indeed all relevant evidence ,scientific and economic, social ,& cultural brought to bear on final determination of FTA between two countries.
    Needless to say WTO panel would still have jurisdiction ,but on procedural to which than substantive proposed of FTA.
    In real political terms Singapore is more or less authoritarian rule by regimes of several decades in power.
    Such country may need to make an explicit development of democracy case to justify safeguard measures effectively achieve a specified public interest of Our nation.


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