Sri Lanka has preferential and free trade agreements with India, Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, Singapore and Israel. It is currently in the processing of upgrading its agreement with India to a much more comprehensive one.
Sri Lanka is also party to SAFTA, the agreement on a South Asia Free Trade Area, as well as BIMSTEC, which aims to hammer out a regional FTA.
last update: May 2012
Photo: Sri Lankan engineers’ association
Sri Lanka’s trade benefits with the world’s biggest consumer market are due to expire Aug. 15. The EU had asked Sri Lanka to give a written commitment by July 1 pledging to improve human rights before it would consider renewing them.
The Democratic National Alliance in Sri Lanka has decided to ask for a parliamentary debate on the proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement to be signed with India and asked the government to disclose the contents of the agreement.
Although Governments of India and Sri Lanka have shown keen interest in expediting their mutual trade pact, the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is likely to get delayed after local business leaders have expressed grave concerns over its impact on Sri Lankan economy.
The India-Sri Lanka agreement is like the story of two farmers who share a cow by owning two equal halves of the cow. They tied a rope around the belly of the cow. One owned the front part and the other the rear. Farmer who owned the rear got all the economic benefits including milk, calves and even manure while the other paid for it!
President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday said Sri Lanka would not enter into trade agreements that would have an adverse effect on the country’s economy when he met a group of protestors against the implementation of a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) with India.
A large group of Sri Lankan entrepreneurs, businessmen and workers launched a protest outside the Liberty Plaza complex at Kollupitiya yesterday, opposing the CEPA trade agreement with India.
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in the capital Colombo Tuesday demanding Sri Lanka’s government abandon a proposed trade pact with neighbouring India.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) believes that South Asia’s prospects for a regional grouping have greatly improved and that prospects for deeper economic integration within the region and with the rest of Asia would continue to improve in future.
The Free Trade Agreement between India and Sri Lanka is 10 years old and a top trade economist says trade between the two South Asian neighbours have improved and that Sri Lanka should consider upgrading the agreement into a comprehensive economic partnership.
A Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Singapore would be beneficial because it would result in more opportunities with Sri Lanka, currently attempting to develop itself as a hub to India and a financial hub; particularly due to the country’s existing respective FTAs with India and with Pakistan, a top Singapore businessman has said.