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Exploring opportunities under the Sri Lanka-Thailand free trade agreement

Exploring opportunities under the Sri Lanka-Thailand free trade agreement

The Morning: The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) in collaboration with the Ministry of Industries and Department of Commerce organised a seminar on ‘Exploring Opportunities and Implications of the Sri Lanka-Thailand Free Trade Agreement’ at the Auditorium of the Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM) on 29 February for Sri Lankan exporters.
The seminar aimed to raise awareness among the Sri Lankan business community and provide a platform for exploring new business opportunities available in the ‘Trade in Goods’ chapter under the Sri Lanka-Thailand Free Trade Agreement (SLTFTA).
The seminar featured an eminent panel comprising the Presidential Secretariat Office for International Trade Chief Negotiator K.J. Weerasinghe, Ministry of Finance Department of Trade and Investment Policies Director General K.A. Vimalenthirajah, and Department of Commerce Director of Commerce Sanjeewa Pattiwila, who shared valuable insights on SLTFTA.
The session witnessed the participation of over 150 representatives from the export community, public sector, and academia. Through presentations and spirited discussions under the Q&A session, participants gained a deeper understanding of the strategic framework requirements which are shaping the bilateral trade relationship between Sri Lanka and Thailand in terms of exploration of potential, visualising a landscape suitable with opportunities for growth, innovation, and prosperity.
The event was inaugurated jointly by Ministry of Investment Promotion Secretary M.M. Nayeemudeen, Ministry of Industries Secretary S.J.M. Thilaka Jayasundara, and Ministry of Trade, Commerce, and Food Security Secretary A.M.P.M.B. Atapattu.
During the welcome remarks, EDB Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Kingsley Bernard expressed enthusiasm for continuing this dialogue and planning more trade promotional events for the Thailand market in the future, working in collaboration with other Government institutions to ensure maximum benefit to the Sri Lankan economy.

OSL take:
Sri Lanka is in the process of reviewing and expanding its trade ties with other countries in a bid to become a regional trade hub. The country is in the process of entering into new trade agreements with more countries as part of the programme to strengthen Sri Lanka’s trade. The signing of the Sri Lanka-Thailand FTA is part of this programme and negotiations are also ongoing to sign several other FTAs and preferential trade agreements (PTAs) with more countries in the Asian region this year. All these trade ties have helped the strengthening and growth of Sri Lanka’s manufacturing and export sectors. This is evident in the profits recorded by local businesses engaged in these sectors. Fire businesses/investors could therefore explore the expanding opportunities in Sri Lanka’s manufacturing and export sectors while also looking at the possibilities of forming collaborations with local businesses aimed at further expansion. Also, foreign businesses interested in trading in the Asian region, could look at setting up base in Sri Lanka to engage with other countries that Sri Lanka enjoys trade ties with.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20240319/Z_2

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