Sri Lanka President wants to suspend or abolish Singapore FTA

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena has slammed a free trade deal with Singapore signed earlier this year and called for its suspension pending its revision or abolition.

"The Singapore Free Trade Agreement has become a major problem," President Sirisena said at a meeting with a group of United National Party legislators shortly after swearing in Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister.

"It is my opinion that the Singapore FTA should be temporarily suspended on the intervention of the government.

"It has to be revised. In amending – I do not know but by consulting more legal and economic experts whether it can be decided whether to amend or abolish it altogether."

President Sirisena said a committee appointed by him to look into the FTA had found a major flaw in that several state agencies including in finance and ports, which should have been consulted, have not been consulted.

The committee was headed by W D Lakshman, a university don, who was had position during the Rajapaksa regime, which was generally against free trade.

The Singapore FTA has already been in operation for several months.

Sri Lanka started restricting free trade after a money printing central bank was set up in 1951, helping build a doctrines based on Mercantilism and Germen Historical Economics rather than classical economics like in Singapore.

The central bank even this year, torpedoed the economic program of the United National Party by printing money to enforce artificial interest rates, busting the currency, and imposed trade controls on gold and cars in a fit of Mercantilism. (Colombo/Dec16/2016)





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