Sri Lanka and Singapore FTA to finalise this year

Singapore Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan is on a visit to the island nation.

The Dollar Business Bureau

In order to further strengthen bilateral trade and investment between the two countries, Sri Lanka and Singapore are to formalise the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) later this year, said Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake on Tuesday.

The Sri Lankan Minister said that during a meeting with his Singaporean counterpart Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, who is on a visit to the island nation, particular emphasis was given on finding ways and means to further bolster bilateral trade and investment between the two nations.

The proposed FTA between Sri Lanka and Singapore is likely to be finalised in the latter part of this year, reported the Chinese official news agency Xinhua.

Addressing the media, Karunanayake said that both the countries enjoy robust and strong bilateral ties that have been created on mutual respect and understanding as well as via people-to-people contacts.

“I expressed my deep appreciation for the training opportunities offered by Singapore to Sri Lankan public sector officials. We discussed ways of further strengthening training and educational collaboration between two countries,” Karunanayake added.

He said the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s official visit to Singapore in July last year has opened a new era in further boosting bilateral relations.

While briefing the reporters, Dr. Balakrishnan said that a better connectivity between the two nations would ensure both the regions would become a gateway to business and trade for their respective regions.

“The bigger the pipeline we build the greater the opportunities for our respective countries. We believe that with the FTA Sri Lanka would be the gateway to South Asia as we would be the gateway for Sri Lanka to South East Asia,” he said.

The bilateral trade between the two countries was $2.05 billion in 2015.