Sri Lanka hope to revive free trade talks with Thailand
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka and Thailand have expressed hope to revive talks on a free trade deal following a meeting with the Thai envoy in Colombo Chulamanee Chartsuwan and Indian Ocean island’s foreign secretary Jayanath Colombage, a retired admiral.
The first round of negotiations for a ‘Sri Lanka-Thailand Free Trade Agreement’ had been held in 2018 during a visit of Thai Prime Minister.
A second meeting of a ‘Sri Lanka-Thailand Trade Negotiating Committee’ had been held in 2019.
“Both parties endorsed that they are hopeful the negotiation process will be completed soon to reap the benefits for enhanced economic cooperation,” Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
“The two dignitaries held focused discussions on ways to strengthen and fast track the bilateral relationship.”
Ambassador Chartsuwan said Sri Lanka’s exports to Thailand could be increased through the implementation of a Strategic Economic Partnership (SEP) which was signed when Prime Minister of Thailand visited Sri Lanka.
The partnership deal had outlined cooperation under 10 sectors such as infrastructure, agro industry, fisheries, gems and jewellery, tourism, SMEs, financial cooperation, packaging industries and the IT sector.
Sri Lanka has controlled imports in 2020 after printing money and is perusing a policy of import substitution. (Colombo/Dec14/2020)