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Friday, September 29, 2023

Sri Lanka Sets Sights on March 2024 for Free Trade Agreement with Thailand

Sri Lanka is forging ahead with plans to bolster its trade relations, eyeing the finalization of free trade negotiations with Thailand by February 2024, followed by the formal signing of the agreement in March. The country’s focus on expanding trade opportunities comes after securing a substantial US$3 billion package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in March, with the aim of stimulating economic growth.

The negotiations between Sri Lanka and Thailand have made significant progress, with five rounds of talks completed, including the most recent discussions held in July. Cabinet Spokesperson Bandula Gunawardena revealed that the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) with Thailand is just one of several deals being actively pursued to facilitate Sri Lanka’s economic recovery and sustainable growth.

In addition to ongoing talks with Thailand, Sri Lanka is exploring the possibility of initiating free trade discussions with Indonesia and reopening negotiations with its neighboring economic powerhouse, India, to further enhance their existing trade agreement. Furthermore, Sri Lanka has expressed keen interest in revisiting negotiations for a free trade deal with China.

As the negotiations with Thailand advance, Sri Lanka remains optimistic that the combined efforts will pave the way for a new era of economic prosperity. The FTA is expected to open up new avenues for trade, provide opportunities for economic growth, and enhance Sri Lanka’s position in the global marketplace. With eyes set on the future, Sri Lanka is determined to strengthen its trade partnerships and secure a path towards sustained economic development.

Author: zac

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