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Sri Lanka awaiting RCEP admission mechanism

Economy Next - 1 April 2024

Sri Lanka awaiting RCEP admission mechanism

Sri Lanka’s application to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement is awaiting the development of a mechanism to admit new members, Senior Economic Advisor to President Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

Sri Lanka has lodged a letter of intent to join the RCEP and also met representatives of member states in Jakarta, Senior Economic Advisor to President H H R Samaratunga told a forum organized by Pathfinder Institute, a Colombo-based think tank.

“What we were told is that an internal procedure is being worked out,” Samaratunga said.

Sri Lanka stood the chance to be the first member outside of the original founders to gain admission after a procedure is worked out, he said.

Sri Lanka is keen to join the group as it allowed exporters in the country to get inputs from multiple RCEP member countries and make into products which was more flexible than traditional value addition requirements in bilateral trade deals, Samaratunga said.

Sri Lanka is simultaneously working on several other treaties including a free trade deal with Thailand and preferential trade deals with Bangladesh and Indonesia.

 source: Economy Next