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Sri Lanka begins drafting free trade agreement with Malaysia

Economy Next - 12 June 2024

Sri Lanka begins drafting free trade agreement with Malaysia

Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers have approved the starting of relevant negotiations for a free trade agreement with Malaysia, minister Bandula Gunawardena said.

“Malaysia is the 34th export destination for Sri Lanka currently. It’s a key member of ASEAN and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership,” Gunawardena told reporters on Tuesday.

Total export value from Sri Lanka to Malaysia was 58.34 million dollars in 2023, according to the Export Development Board. Total imports from Malaysia to Sri Lanka for the same period were 736.39 million dollars.

Sri Lanka exported petroleum oils, women’s outerwear, rubber industrial and surgical gloves, men’s and women’s under garments, babies’ garments, tea in bulk, gloves, textile mitts and mittens, and tea packets.

Sri Lanka hopes to sign FTAs with other ASEAN member states after debt restructuring is complete.

Sri Lanka is looking beyond strengthening ties with its largest traditional export destinations, the USA and the EU/UK, to deeper integration with South Asia, South East Asia and East Asia nations.

Several free trade deals with Asia and Pacific have generated sharply more exports than imports, official data have shown.

 source: Economy Next