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
The Sri Lankan government is forging ahead with the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) which will facilitate the entry here of two Indian banks - Bank of Baroda and Axis Bank, according to senior officials at the Central Bank.
The European Union has told Sri Lanka it has "very serious concerns" about civil war human rights abuses and that lucrative trade concessions could be at risk if they continue.
India’s Minister of Commerce was in Colombo last week. He had the usual few words to say about the benefits that are supposed to have accrued to pretty much everybody since the entry into force of the free trade agreement with Sri Lanka in 2000. Unfortunately, the story isn’t so simple. Taking a closer look at what has happened in practice would prompt even the most ardent believer to question the undoubtedly beguiling theory of free trade.
Sri Lanka is negotiating more free trade and investment deals with other countries to increase trade and foreign investment. Two rounds of talks were held in January with India and Pakistan on free trade and investment agreements while the first negotiations on an investment promotion and protection agreement with Kuwait was concluded on January 30. The Sri Lanka-Kuwait negotiations will be followed by negotiations on a Sri Lanka-Jordan Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement
Sri Lanka has stopped exporting pepper under the Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA) because of restrictions imposed by India, a top exporter has said.
India and Sri Lanka may finalise discussions on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement this week
Trade analysts say that Sri Lanka should make the most of existing trade deals like the Bay of Bengal Initiative before negotiating more bilateral and multilateral agreements.
The Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Pakistan said this week that the potential to expand trade between the two countries will be facilitated by the recently inked Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
Sri Lanka last week entered into an economic cooperation agreement with Israel.
A proposed free-trade deal between Nepal and Sri Lanka could boost trade but analysts say there is more potential for service liberalization.