China FTA talks in June; TPP may affect Sri Lanka apparel exports: Bathiudeen

NCC Chamber President Thilak Godamanna

Minister accepts a token of appreciation from NCC Chamber President Thilak Godamanna as NCC Senior Deputy President Sujeeve Samaraweera looks on

May 02, 2016 (LBO) – Arrangements are under way to hold the third round of negotiations for China-Sri Lanka FTA in June this year, Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said. “When reviewing the garment sector, we need to be able to carefully address the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement under which tax free garment export opportunities have been given to countries such as Vietnam. This may also affect exports from Sri Lanka in the future,” Bathiudeen said. The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement has enabled countries to engage in competitive markets and supply the American, Chinese and Japanese markets at low rates. “TPP must therefore be reviewed further. In this context, arrangements are under way to hold the third round of negotiations for China-Sri Lanka FTA in June this year.” Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the “Meet the Minister” session organised by the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka on 29 April joined by National Chamber of Commerce President Thilak Godamanna, National Chamber of Commerce Secretary General/CEO Bandula Dissanayake and Members of NCC as well as Minister Bathiudeen’s top officials. Trade between Sri Lanka and China crossed the 4 billion US dollars mark last year for the first time in the bilateral trade history, surging by 17 percent from 2014. However, 93 percent of 2015’s total trade consisted of imports from China-mainly iron & steel, fabrics & fibers, cotton, and Urea fertilizer.
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