Mar 29, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s President Maithreepala Sirisena calls for a new thinking on growth strategy and more cooperative partnership among the community of Asia.
He was speaking yesterday at the economic conference “Boao Forum for Asia 2015” held in Hainan island , China’s south and said there is an ever-growing disparity among the people in Asia and remains a notable disparity in the decree of intra-regional integration.
“This calls for a new thinking on Asian growth strategy and more cooperative partnership among the community of Asia,” President Sirisena said.
“Simplified trade and reducing non-tariff barriers is vital in order to enhance connectivity.”
He says the Asian region is also still largely dependent on extra-regional markets for its final exports and lacks significant counterparts within the region.
“In such a scenario, how do we achieve a community of common destiny for Asia? “ He asked.
“The answers needs developing appropriate public policies, strategies to respond to these challenges while taking into consideration the specific differences in respective countries.”
He says Sri Lanka is committed to such cooperation and collective action within the community of Asian nations.
Sri Lanka is in the process of linking free trade agreements (FTA) with China and United States while the island has already signed FTA’s with India and Pakistan.
In 2013, total Indo-Lanka trade was at USD 3.6 billion with the balance heavily in India’s favor with imports at just over three billion dollars.
About 65 percent of Sri Lanka’s total exports to India went under a FTA deal. “We are hopeful that our FTA with China, currently under negotiations, will provide further inputs for value addition and economic cooperation in the region,” President Sirisena said.
“Our inbound tourism from China has increased significantly, and Asian countries rank among the top investors in Sri Lanka,”
“The people of Sri Lanka on the 8th of January gave me an overwhelming mandate to take the country on a path of progress, as nation welcoming a new dawn of democracy, good governance, the rule of law and equal opportunities for all,”
“Toward this end, my government is implementing ambitious hundred day programme, inclusion of constitutional reforms to usher in a new political culture, as well as achieving lasting national reconciliation among all communities.”