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FTA signed after 16% increase in Sri Lanka-Thailand trade

FTA signed after 16% increase in Sri Lanka-Thailand trade

The Morning: Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, during the recent Sri Lanka – Thailand business networking event, highlighted the thriving economic relationship between the two sides, pointing out the Thailand-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA) as a milestone showcasing mutual confidence in the economic prospects of both nations.
The trade between Thailand and Sri Lanka has witnessed a 16% increase from the previous year, with Thai exports rising by 7.4% and Sri Lankan exports by 43%, underscoring the growth and potential for further cooperation.
Srettha brought attention to the seafood processing industry in Sri Lanka, recognising it as a sector where companies from both countries could collaborate to make a global impact. The Premier also emphasised the support provided by Thai intermediate goods to the burgeoning service industry in Sri Lanka, particularly in skill development and capability enhancement through partnerships between educational entities and the hospitality industry.
Srettha also spoke on the benefits of tourism from the strong cultural and religious connections between Thailand and Sri Lanka, highlighting the resumption of Thai Airways’ commercial flights from Bangkok to Colombo starting 31 March 2023, as a move that will further strengthen these ties and boost tourist exchanges.
On the investment front, Srettha encouraged Thai businesses to explore opportunities in Sri Lanka’s growing sectors, such as infrastructure development, manufacturing, and energy. He outlined Sri Lanka’s potential as a strategic partner in Thailand’s vision to become a key logistics hub in the ASEAN region, leveraging the Landbridge project to connect the Andaman Sea with the Gulf of Thailand.

OSL take
Sri Lanka is currently in the process of reviewing and revamping the country’s existing trade agreements with other countries. The country is also looking at forming new trade agreements with the latest free trade agreement (FTA) being signed between Sri Lanka and Thailand. The latest FTA with Thailand has further expanded Sri Lanka’s free trade exposure to a new market. With Sri Lanka’s expanding trade ties, the country’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean and the target of becoming an emerging business destination in the region, Sri Lanka presents an ideal destination for foreign businesses to set up base to engage with other countries utilizing Sri Lanka’s preferential trade treatments. Given the overall growth and business potential in Sri Lanka, foreign businesses/investors could explore the expanding business/investment opportunities in the country.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20240215/Z_8

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