‘SL’s FTA with China promising more global trade’



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Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce- centre) meets P. Kumaran, (Deputy High Commissioner of India-second from left) at the EDB organized awareness session "Preferential Trade Agreements and FTAs for Lankan Exporters" on 30 January in Colombo.


Buoyed by its latest exports turnaround, Sri Lanka is now marshalling its FTAs to directly catapault into major global regions-and for the first time, FTAs have become an FDI driver. "You will be eligible for even more free trade when we begin our FTA with yet another G20 economy in addition to India-which is China. As a result, 40% of the world population will be directly accessible to Lankan exporters" said a keen Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka on 30 January in Colombo.


Minister Bathiudeen was addressing an EDB organized awareness session called "Preferential Trade Agreements and FTAs for Lankan Exporters" on 30 January held at the EDB Auditorium in Colombo. Joining the session were P. Kumaran (Deputy High Commissioner of India) and Hasan Ali Zaigham (First Secretary of High Commission of Pakistan in Colombo).


A Ministry of Industry and Commerce press release said: ‘Under SAFTA mechanism, Sri Lanka accesses 1.64 huge South Asian market while Sri Lanka’s bilateral FTAs with India and Pakistan give access to over 1.3 Bn market inside SAARC region (296 Mn, in addition to India and Pakistan). And under APTA, the sole such mechanism linking Chinese and Korean markets to Lanka, another 1.39 Bn market access-resulting in overall direct access to 43% of the overall world market! Meanwhile, 2013 annual exports (provisional) showed a turnaround with a 6.2% surge to $ 10397 Mn.


"Thanks to the FTAs with India and Pakistan, Sri Lankan exporters can now export more than 8500 product lines without tariff, to these two promising markets. In fact, there is substantial trade growth after these FTAs were implemented" said Minister Bathiudeen, and added: "India is Sri Lanka’s largest trade partner in SAARC region. Bilateral trade between both countries totalled $ 4 Bn in 2012. This is a, huge, 508% increase from dollars 672 Million trade in 2001, as a result of the FTA. Both countries are now targeting dollars 10 billion trade over a period of 3 years, with special focus on trade in favour of Sri Lanka.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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