Sri Lanka aims to join the Trans Pacific Partnership: Deputy FM

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka aims to join the Trans Pacific Partnership and also strengthen relations with the West, Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva said.

"We have already started talking about TPP and let us see what liberalizations we still need to make here to get on the bandwagon," de Silva said soon after taking office in Colombo Friday.

Companies were already building factories ahead of the formal finalization of the TPP, which will link Pacific rim countries in Asia and also South America with the USA.

If the bid succeeds Sri Lanka would be the first country in South Asia to join the trading block which is still under negotiation.

While lowering trade barriers, the TPP also aims at having a common framework for intellectual property, labour and environmental low and investor protection and dispute settlement with states.

De Silva said foreign affairs was traditionally to keep the peace but now ‘economic diplomacy’ was a key plank.

Sri Lanka would also pursue a free trade deal with the USA, restore GSP+ benefits to the country, de Silva said. (Colombo/Sept11/2015)

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