Sri Lanka Forges Ahead with Free Trade Talks, Focusing on Thailand, Indonesia, and India

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In a bid to bolster its trade relations and revitalize its economy, Sri Lanka is making significant strides in free trade negotiations with several countries. The island nation recently secured a substantial US$3 billion package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in March, and now aims to leverage trade opportunities to further stimulate economic growth.

One of the key focuses for Sri Lanka is finalizing a free trade agreement (FTA) with Thailand. The negotiations between the two nations have already undergone five rounds of talks, with the most recent discussions taking place in July. Both parties are working diligently to conclude the negotiations by February 2024, and formalize the agreement by March.

Cabinet Spokesperson, Bandula Gunawardena, highlighted that the proposed FTA with Thailand is just one part of Sri Lanka’s comprehensive strategy to facilitate economic recovery and establish a sustainable growth trajectory. Beyond Thailand, Sri Lanka is actively engaging in talks to initiate free trade discussions with Indonesia and reopen negotiations with India, its neighboring economic powerhouse, to further expand trade opportunities and enhance an existing trade agreement.

Moreover, Sri Lanka is keen on revisiting negotiations for a free trade deal with China, aiming to strengthen trade ties with one of the world’s major economies.

As Sri Lanka progresses with the talks, the country remains optimistic that these efforts will pave the way for a new era of economic prosperity. The envisioned trade agreements are expected to open up exciting prospects for trade, bolster Sri Lanka’s position in the global marketplace, and contribute to the country’s overall economic growth and development.

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