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
Negative trade balance is not always negative. It could be looked in a broader context said the Head of Chancery of the Pakistan High Commission in Sri Lanka Balal Akram. Referring to the negative trade balance between the countries which is favourable to Pakistan Akram said that 35 per cent of Sri Lankan imports from Pakistan are raw material for the apparel industry.
Sri Lanka has reacted strongly to a European Commission (EC) probe on its human rights record, saying it is politically motivated.
The United States has asked Sri Lanka, ranked high for software piracy in Asia, to better enforce intellectual property rights and also lift restrictions on American imports like genetically modified food.
The European Commission is all set to recommend withdrawal of trade benefits from Sri Lanka after allegations of large scale violation of human rights surfaced during the last stages of the civil war against the LTTE.
Sri Lanka is very likely not pursue a comprehensive economic partnership agreement with Pakistan because a similar agreement with India was put in cold storage last year amidst mounting domestic pressure.
The June coup d’état in Honduras was a body blow to political integration in Central America. The old idea of a protected and privileged trade area does not make any sense now in the light of globalisation, "so the concept of open integration was adopted. But that needed to be translated into concrete terms and this was not done."
The Free Trade Agreement between Sri Lanka and Pakistan will be further expanded to services and investment in keeping with a bilateral discussions between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, yesterday.
Sri Lanka and Kuwait successfully concluded negotiations on the proposed Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) between two countries. This will be Sri Lanka’s first ever IPPA with a Gulf country.
The Department of Commerce said this week that under the Sri Lanka-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (FTA), Pakistan has confirmed duty free status to 4,500 Sri Lankan products.
The President of the Sri Lanka Nepal Business Council of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka said that Nepal had approached Sri Lanka about entering into a free trade agreement.