Sri Lanka negotiating “comprehensive” FTA with China

Sri Lanka says it is negotiating comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with China and India, Asia Pacific Daily reported.

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera noted that Sri Lanka recently signed its very first comprehensive FTA with Singapore.

He said that comprehensive FTAs are now being negotiated with China, India, and other ASEAN nations.

“Along with GSP + Sri Lanka will soon have market access to India, China, and Europe, making the country a unique destination for investment. This network of FTAs will enable Sri Lanka to meaningful integrate into regional value chains to drive future trade and economic growth,” he said.

The Finance Minister expressed these views while addressing a business conclave held in Colombo.

“Over the years, alack of economic stability has been a major hindrance to doing business in Sri Lanka. As a result, economic growth in the post war years has been dominated by debt financed state investments.Such a model is unsustainable. With a growing debt stock the government finds it difficult to balance public investment and debt servicing. It is in this context that our Government has shifted to a private sector, export, and FDI, led model of economic growth. The state will play a key role in smart regulation, setting a robust institutional framework, and targeted interventions to ensure social justice and equity,” he said.

Samaraweera said that macroeconomic conditions have stabilized in Sri Lanka, setting the stage for investment and economic growth.

He said the Government is committed to further facilitation of the investment climate through a well thought out programme for eliminating barriers in the business environment.

The Minister said a clear set of comprehensive investment incentives have also been spelled out and Sri Lanka is poised to be a major source of investment for companies looking to use Sri Lanka as a base to tap into the fast growing Indian Ocean region. (Colombo Gazette)


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