Daily Mirror 2017-06-08
Sri Lanka-Thailand reach consensus on FTA
Sri Lanka and Thailand have come to a consensus on a free trade agreement (FTA) to trade goods as the first step towards a comprehensive FTA that will follow in the future, Sri Lanka’s Industry and Commerce Ministry in a statement said.
This transpired during the ‘Second Subcommittee Meeting on Trade-Related Matters’ between the high-level trade officials of both countries, in Bangkok. Thailand has proposed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Strategic Economic Partnership (SEP) with Sri Lanka as a stepping stone towards a fully-fledged FTA.
The MoU is expected to be concluded with an action plan in order to be signed during Thai Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak’s visit to Sri Lanka in August 2017. The bilateral meeting was held at Eastin Grand Hotel, Sathorn, Bangkok. The Thai delegation was led by Thailand’s Trade Negotiations Department Director General Boonyarit Kalayanamit, while the Sri Lanka side was led by Commerce Department Director General Sonali Wijeratne.
While exchanging the views on trade and economic situations of both countries, the two parties expressed their interest to further enhance their trade and achieve the targets set by the leaders of the two countries to reach total trade to US $ 1.5 billion by 2020.
The current annual trade levels between Thailand and Sri Lanka is in the range of US $ 550 million.
To achieve the US $ 1.5 billion trade objective, it was agreed to explore the possibilities of establishing the bilateral FTA and developing the SEP between Thailand and Sri Lanka in identified sectors of mutual interest.