Sri Lanka seeks FTAs with Singapore, Malayasia and Turkey

May 06, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is exploring free trade agreements with Singapore, Malaysia and Turkey, a minister said.

““Countries like Sri Lanka need to thrive on the export of products and services on the way to create vibrant economies,” Malik Samarawickrama, minister of development strategies and international trade, said.

“We are now on a new journey and are looking at free trade agreements with countries like Singapore, Malayasia and Turkey.”

He said that the new Government has brought in confidence on the part of the international business community with the implementation of freedom, democracy and transparency.

Sri Lanka’s 30 year war affected export growth and also investment.

Improving investment policy, ease of doing business and trade facilitation, are among our highest priorities, he said.

“The anti-export bias that was seen during the previous regime needs to be removed. The government is reviewing laws and tariffs to reduce transaction costs,”

“We are looking at other areas to develop, which have significant potential include high value added apparel, value added and blended tea, rubber gloves, rubber tyres, ICT-BPM, shipping and logistics.”

He was speaking at the launch of the World Export Development Forum (WEDF), the flagship event of the Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC) to be held in Colombo, on 12-13 October 2016.