Reuters - 25 July 2023
SL – Thailand FTA to be signed next March
Sri Lanka plans to complete free trade talks with Thailand by February and sign an agreement in March, Sri Lanka’s cabinet spokesperson said on Tuesday, as part of an effort to expand trade as it emerges from economic turmoil.
The island nation secured a nearly $3 billion International Monetary Fund bailout in March to help it tackle its worst economic crisis in seven decades.
"This is among several free trade agreements that Sri Lanka is negotiating to help the economy recover and return to a growth path," cabinet spokesperson Bandula Gunawardena said.
Sri Lanka and Thailand have held five rounds of talks on their trade agreement with the last in July.
Sri Lanka also plans to begin free trade talks with Indonesia and restart negotiations with neighbouring India on the expansion of an existing trade agreement.
It has also expressed an interest in resuming talks on a free trade with China that were suspended in 2018.
Reporting by Uditha Jayasinghe; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman