Sept 26, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is interested in entering into a Free Trade Agreement with South Korea in the future, a senior minister revealed.
International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama in a recent visit to Korea has conveyed Sri Lanka’s interest on an FTA to Korean Vice Minister of Trade.
The Sri Lankan embassy in Korea said he welcomed the early conclusion of the proposed bilateral Agreement on Economic Cooperation which would provide a framework for discussion on economic issues such as a joint working group.
Minister Samarawickrama has underscored Sri Lanka’s interest to further strengthen economic ties with Korea, at a meeting with the Korean Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho last week in Seoul.
Deputy Prime Minister Yoo has expressed Korea’s strong interest to enhance economic cooperation with Sri Lanka.
Yoo has welcomed upcoming high-level visits and the celebration of the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2017 and supported measures that would create more opportunities for Korean entrepreneurs to engage in Sri Lanka.
At a meeting with Korea EXIM Bank’s President, Samarawickrama expressed deep appreciation for Korean development cooperation including the loan assistance extended through the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) which supports key infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka.
The two parties have agreed that development cooperation forms an important dimension of the countries’ bilateral relations.
Both countries have discussed means of elevating this partnership including consideration of increase in the EDCF funding arrangement in the context of the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2017.
The Minister and delegation also participated in a Business Meeting organised by Korea Federation of SMEs and attended by a cross-section of Korean businesses in manufacturing and industries, and several Korean Industry Cooperatives and Associations.