Sri Lanka and Thailand to revive talks on free trade agreement
Sri Lanka and Thailand to revive talks on free trade agreement

Sri Lanka and Thailand to revive talks on free trade agreement

Sri Lanka and Thailand are reportedly looking at reviving talks on reaching a free trade agreement (FTA) following a meeting between the Thai envoy in Colombo Chulamanee Chartsuwan and Sri Lanka’s Foreign Secretary, Jayanath Colombage.

The first round of negotiations for a ‘Sri Lanka-Thailand Free Trade Agreement’ was reportedly held in 2018 during a visit of Thai Prime Minister.

A second meeting of a ‘Sri Lanka-Thailand Trade Negotiating Committee’ was 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 has observed in a statement.

“The two dignitaries held focused discussions on ways to strengthen and fast track the bilateral relationship.”

Ambassador Chartsuwan has stated that Sri Lanka’s exports to Thailand could be increased through the implementation of a Strategic Economic Partnership (SEP) which was signed when the 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, EconomyNext has noted.

OSL take:

Sri Lanka and Thailand enjoyed strong bilateral and trade ties. Therefore a free trade agreement would further boost trade ties between the countries. Thai businesses/investors could confidently explore business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka and vice versa. Also, other foreign businesses/investors interested in doing business with Thailand could look at setting up base in Sri Lanka. Besides, Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country have made it a business hub in the South Asian region. 

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Article Code : VBS/AT/17122020/Z_4

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