Colombo, Sept 7 (newsin.asia)- Sri Lanka is likely to sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Singapore in October as the island country looks to attract more foreign investments, International Trade Minister, Malik Samarawickrema said here at a Forum.
The Minister said Sri Lanka had already held five rounds of discussions with Singaporean negotiators and both countries were likely to sign the FTA by October end.
Samarawickrema made these remarks at the SAARC Trade Fair and Investment Forum held in Colombo.
“We have added a chapter on investment and services to the FTA. We want to attract investment from Singaporean entrepreneurs as well in new fields such as manufacturing industries,” Samarawickrema said.
He said Sri Lanka could no longer depend on traditional markets like the United States and the European Union and it needed to find new markets in South Asia or other Asian nations.
“We need to deepen our existing trade deals with India and Pakistan and come into new FTAs with countries like China and Singapore. Maybe we can also get into new agreements with countries like Bangladesh and Thailand as well,” he said.
He added that FTA’s with China and India will give Sri Lanka preferential access to at least 2.5 billion people.