Sri Lankan research consultancy company presents the significance of the Sri Lanka-Singapore free trade agreement
A Sri Lankan research consultancy, STAX has reportedly presented an overall view of key challenges in investment, potential opportunities for investment and growth along with the significance of the Sri Lanka-Singapore free trade agreement (FTA).
A local media report stated that drawing on STAX’s extensive research capabilities and experience operating in the Singaporean market, Manager Firaz Markar had presented an overall view of key challenges in investment, potential opportunities for investment and growth, and the significance of the Sri Lanka-Singapore FTA to council member companies.
“Singapore and Sri Lanka continue to share significant cultural and economic affinities, and over the past year, this relationship has manifested in increasing trade. Today, Singapore ranks as Sri Lanka’s 8thlargest trading partner, and at present, there are over 90 Singaporean businesses – including major multinationals – that operate in the country, generating approximately 241 million dollars in investment in 2017. Many of these companies choose to invest in Sri Lanka to take advantage of regional and relationship-driven benefits. Sri Lanka has the benefit of positive relationships with some of the largest economies in the Asian region, as well as access to trade routes and markets. However, while FDI has been improving over the recent past, we still attract investments at a much lower rate and scale than its regional counterparts,” Markar has been quoted as saying in the local media
He has further stated that most of Sri Lanka’s foreign direct investments (FDI) had been generated through the telecommunication, manufacturing, and tourism sectors, while the IT sector had also shown improved potential with export growth of 18-19%.
Citing the results of a recent study carried out by STAX among foreign companies that have invested in Sri Lanka, Markar has reportedly said that the most pressing concerns for foreign investors remained a shortage of qualified labour, the high cost of setting up business, insufficient levels of productivity, and policy instability.
However, given the potential of Sri Lanka as a hub for regional trade, Markar has noted that a positive conclusion to the FTA would serve as a signal for other nations to also enter into similarly liberal agreements with Sri Lanka to take advantage of reductions in tariff lines, labour movement and government procurement.
The recently signed FTA between Sri Lanka and Singapore would further strengthen the bilateral and trade ties between the two countries. As stated by Markar in his speech, while Sri Lanka and Singapore share cultural and economic ties, many Singaporean companies choose to invest in Sri Lanka to take advantage of regional and relationship-driven benefits as well as access to trade routes and markets. These words encapsulate the importance of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean region and would undoubtedly provide many reasons for foreign businesses/investors to explore for opportunities in the island nation.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/29082018/Z_5|