ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka has to compete with the rest of the Asia Pacific Region in trade through free trade agreements (FTAs), a minister said.
“As the government we are doing our best than previous governments to ensure the development in Sri Lankan economy," Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama said.
"We hope that in the future we will be able to compete with countries in the Asia Pacific Region without being afraid," he said at a forum held at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
He said Sri Lanka needs to sign more FTAs.
“If Sri Lanka is to compete against the competitive and growing global market it is compulsory to get in to free trade agreements as much as possible”.
“In the Asia Pacific region there are 170 free trade agreements covering more than 40 countries with a population of more than 4 billion.”
He said that Sri Lanka is negotiating FTAs with China, Korea and Japan.
Sri Lanka already has a FTA with India, which is being expanded, with negotiations at an advanced, Samarawickrama said.
He called on the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce to be more active to help the negotiations finish faster, which would allow Sri Lanka to be more competitive.
Bangladesh and Malaysia too have shown interest in signing FTAs with Sri Lanka.