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Sri Lanka eyes more exports to China, mulls re-activating FTA talks

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is eying more exports to China in the Covid-19 era by participating in an import fair in the country and also reactivating talks on a proposed free trade deal, the Indian Ocean Island’s state export promotion agency said.

Prabash Subasinghe, Chairman of Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB), has met Yang Zuoyuan, Economic and Commercial Counsellor of China Embassy in Colombo to discuss ways to boost trade between the two countries.

“In this regard, the activation of negotiation process of proposed China Sri Lanka FTA was highlighted as this will act as a catalyst to increase the trade between Sri Lanka and China by exploiting the opportunities available in the market,” the EDB said.

The two had also discussed the participation of Sri Lanka in the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in which the EDB had arranged for exporters from the island to be participate from 2018.

“Arrangements are being made by the EDB to organize Sri Lanka’s participation at CIIE 2020 as well,” the EDB said.

“This event was an important move of China to open its market and promote trade, and was a platform for international cooperation for all countries to showcase their development achievements and discuss global economic and trade issues.”

The two had also discussed Chinese investment into Sri Lanka and the export of products using FTAs to third countries.

Sri Lanka had imported 4,032 million US dollars of goods from China and exported 229 million dollars in 2019.

Sri Lanka’s main exports to China were tea, activated carbon, electronic and electrical products, coir fibre, apparel, mineral sands, petroleum products, tyres and tubes. (Colombo/Aug29/2020)

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