Free trade agreement: Sri Lanka and Thailand set to seal the deal

A Sri Lankan gem miner searches through washed stones in Kalu River in Ratnapura district, 00 kilometres southeast of Colombo. Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post

With a renewed focus on trade agreements, Sri Lanka is preparing to finalise and sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with Thailand on February 3, next year. The development was announced by Sri Lanka’s Cabinet spokesperson today, November 21, confirming that discussions were on track for completion in December.

The impending agreement is part of the island nation’s strategic efforts to invigorate its economy, which is currently reeling from the worst financial crisis in decades. The spokesperson revealed that the proposed Sri Lanka-Thailand Free Trade Agreement (SLTFTA) will be signed following the conclusion of the ongoing discussions.

Sri Lanka and Thailand’s bilateral trade amounted to approximately US$460 million in 2021, according to data from the Sri Lankan central bank. The primary exports from Sri Lanka to Thailand include tea and precious stones, while it imports electronic equipment, food, rubber, plastics, and pharmaceuticals.

Earlier this month, Sri Lanka also resumed discussions on an expanded trade agreement with India. In addition, the country has expressed interest in establishing an FTA with Bangladesh and is eyeing membership in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The RCEP is a significant economic group that comprises countries including China, Japan, and South Korea.

The Sri Lankan government’s efforts towards fostering growth through trade agreements underscore the importance of international cooperation in economic recovery. As the country navigates its way out of the financial crisis, these strategic partnerships are poised to play a crucial role in stabilising the economy and spurring growth, reported Bangkok Post.

In related news, Thailand government spokesperson, Chai Wacharonke, declared the country’s intention to establish a free trade agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member nations, aiming to enhance trade and investment relations.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin recently concluded his visit to Saudi Arabia, where he participated in the ASEAN-GCC Riyadh Summit at the Ritz-Carlton. Read more about the story HERE.

Business News

Alex Morgan

Alex is a 42-year-old former corporate executive and business consultant with a degree in business administration. Boasting over 15 years of experience working in various industries, including technology, finance, and marketing, Alex has acquired in-depth knowledge about business strategies, management principles, and market trends. In recent years, Alex has transitioned into writing business articles and providing expert commentary on business-related issues. Fluent in English and proficient in data analysis, Alex strives to deliver well-researched and insightful content to readers, combining practical experience with a keen analytical eye to offer valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape.

Related Articles