Sri Lanka on ‘neutral’ ground after latest round of WTO talks

Jan 24 (LBO) – The latest round of World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks in Hong Kong, has “neutral” impact on Sri Lanka, say trade experts. Jan 24 (LBO) – The latest round of World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks in Hong Kong, has “neutral” impact on Sri Lanka, say trade experts.

The outcome of the sixth WTO ministerial meeting – the highest level policy setting council of the 149 WTO countries – will have no immediate impact on Sri Lanka, said Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies, Saman Kelegama.

“The Hong Kong outcome has made no difference to Sri Lanka’s current position. The impact is neutral,” said Kelegama, speaking at a seminar organised by the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka, on Tuesday.

“We can go on with the status quo until the Hong Kong text is finalised,” said Kelegama.

WTO member countries are supposed to produce a final agreement, based on the Hong Kong meeting, by April this year but this time frame is considered unrealistic given the slow pace of consensus.

Stock Taking

At the December ministerial meeting, Sri Lanka was lobbying for a Special Safeguard Mechanism a