Foreign minister Sabry says Sri Lanka to sign FTA with India this year
Similar FTAs would be worked out for Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and China as well by the year end, he said. The country signed an FTA with Thailand last week, giving the former access to a $2.2-billion market, he informed.
The FTAs will open up newer markets for cash-strapped businesses in the island nation, as its government struggles to restructure its external debt on the one hand while raising utility rates and taxes on the other, a news agency reported.
Sri Lanka and India resumed talks on the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement in Colombo at the 12th round in October last year. The original talks were stalled after several rounds between 2016 and 2018 due to political and trade union opposition.
While exports contributed 30 per cent to Sri Lanka's gross domestic product (GDP) in the 1990s, that share has reduced to 15 per cent now, which reflects a missed opportunity, he noted.
Limited market access was the main reason behind the country’s export struggles, he added.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)