Sri Lanka looking at increasing exports to China and strengthening trade ties
Sri Lanka’s Export Development Board (EDB) has reportedly said the country is looking at increasing exports to China by participating in an import fair in the country and also reactivating talks on a proposed free trade agreement (FTA).
Chairman of EDB, Prabash Subasinghe has met Yang Zuoyuan, Economic and Commercial Counsellor of China Embassy in Colombo to discuss ways to boost trade between the two countries.
“In this regard, the activation of negotiation process of proposed China Sri Lanka FTA was highlighted as this will act as a catalyst to increase the trade between Sri Lanka and China by exploiting the opportunities available in the market,” the EDB has stated.
The two officials had also discussed the participation of Sri Lanka in the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in which the EDB had arranged for exporters from the island to be participate from 2018.
“Arrangements are being made by the EDB to organize Sri Lanka’s participation at CIIE 2020 as well,” the EDB has been further quoted as saying.
“This event was an important move of China to open its market and promote trade, and was a platform for international cooperation for all countries to showcase their development achievements and discuss global economic and trade issues.”
The two had also discussed Chinese investment into Sri Lanka and the export of products using FTAs to third countries.
Sri Lanka’s main exports to China were tea, activated carbon, electronic and electrical products, coir fibre, apparel, mineral sands, petroleum products, tyres and tubes.
Sri Lanka and China enjoy close and strong bilateral and trade ties. China is one of the key investors in Sri Lanka and the island is placed significantly in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Given Sri Lanka’s ties with China, foreign businesses/investors looking at doing business with China could explore the possibilities of setting up base in Sri Lanka to engage with China. Chinese businesses could also look at doing businesses through Sri Lanka.
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