Free trade deal will open new avenues for BIMSTEC region: Sri Lanka President

Mar 04, 2014 (LBO) – A free trade deal that is being negotiated in countries bordering the Bay of Bengal, will open new avenues for co-operation, Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaska said meeting of the regional grouping. ASEAN is usually looked upon as an example of a successful regional organization.

ASEAN (the Association of South East Asian Nations) had eschewed nationalism, brought down trade barriers, opened skies, eliminated visas and its people are rapidly leaving poverty behind in peace and friendship.

Late entrants to ASEAN such as Vietnam which rapidly removed economic barriers imposed upon their people in line with ASEAN requirements have seen very fast economic progress and rapid poverty reduction.

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a grouping made up of Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.

“Sri Lanka as an active participant is the Lead Country in the Technology Sector and the Permanent Chair of the Trade Negotiating Committee, for a Free Trade Agreement,” the text of the speech made by president Rajapaksa at a summit in Myanmar said.

“This Agreement, once finalized, will open new avenues to in