Implement Singapore - Sri Lanka FTA | Daily News
President directs officials

Implement Singapore - Sri Lanka FTA

President highlights need to provide quick solutions to all existing issues

President Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday instructed the relevant officials to implement the Singapore - Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA) immediately. The President issued these instructions during the discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday morning (16) on the implementation of the Singapore - Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement. The existing problems in this regard were discussed at length and the President highlighted the need to provide quick solutions to all the existing problems. President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake, Senior Economic Advisor to the President Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunga, Attorney General Sanjaya Rajaratnam, Secretary to the Ministry of Trade, Commerce and Food Security S. T. Kodikara and heads of line institutions were present at this discussion.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe informed Singapore  Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong that the implementation of the Singapore Free Trade Agreement is one of the his main objectives when the two leaders met in Tokyo on September 27.

The President informed the Singapore Prime Minister that he will establish an office for international trade at the Presidential Secretariat for the purpose.

The Singapore Prime Minister had told the President that Singapore expects to make investments in Sri Lanka again.This Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement is the first comprehensive agreement which will integrate investments, internet trade, customs relations, trade facilities and services between the two countries. The FTA was signed in May 2018.

The Cabinet was first informed about the progress of the negotiations regarding this agreement through an interim report submitted to the Cabinet in 2017.

The report contained information on the areas to which this agreement applies, how far trade will be eased through the agreement, and the status of inquiries and negotiations with the relevant parties.A Memorandum containing the draft of the agreement was submitted to the Cabinet by then Minister Malik Samarawickreme on December 21, 2017.

After presenting this draft, the then President and 14 Cabinet ministers gave positive comments on this on January 9, 2018. According to these responses, revisions were made in the draft and the revised agreement was presented to the Cabinet.

The revised inclusive agreement was approved by the Cabinet and on January 23, the Cabinet gave permission to sign the agreement during the Singapore Prime Minister’s visit to Sri Lanka

Through this agreement, it is aimed to attract the foreign investment needed by our country and the primary purpose of entering into a trade agreement with Singapore is to increase foreign investment and through that to increase the connections with the global market.


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