Singapore launches talks for free trade deal with Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong witness a Memoranda of Understanding signing ceremony at the Istana in SingaporeSingapore and Sri Lanka have started talks for a free trade pact, including measures to free up trade in goods and services as well as investments, the city-state’s trade minister said, according to the Reuters news agency.

Sri Lanka’s push to build infrastructure and develop its industries presented prospects for Singapore firms to partner with companies in the Indian Ocean nation and contribute to its growth, S. Iswaran said in a statement.

“Amidst an uncertain economic environment, Sri Lanka offers good potential for Singapore companies looking to tap opportunities in new markets,” he said.

The Indian Ocean island was Singapore’s 39th largest trading partner last year, with two-way trade of S$2.05 billion ($1.52 billion), Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry said. (Colombo Gazette)