Colombo, May 9 – Sri Lanka wants the scheduled free trade agreement with Singapore to be finalized before July this year, the BOI said quoting International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama.
The Board of Investment said another FTA with China is expected by the end of this year.
“Minister spoke of the Government’s interest to develop FTZs and of formulating a new incentive package, adding that Sri Lanka would allow a more liberalized regime for trade and investments,” the BOI said in a statement.
Samarawickrama was speaking at a special dialogue with the European Union Embassy and embassies of representative countries of the Union.
The countries represented were France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK but also included representatives from Bulgaria, Austria, Hungary, Greece and Denmark who are posted in New Delhi but accredited to Sri Lanka.
The focus of the meeting was to look at issues faced by EU Companies based in Sri Lanka as well as to examine ways in which the relations could be taken further.
“The Minister also stated that Sri Lanka was looking at a more liberalized Visa entry system for investors and professionals connected to foreign investments in order to bring in skilled managers for investment projects.”
The Board of Investment said land alienation is another area earmarked for reforms.
Samarawickrama has told the gathering that Sri Lanka had developed mechanisms to deal with complex issues relating to investment at the level of the Cabinet since these matters were taken up weekly.
“He expected considerable progress and achievement in 2017 and was confident that Sri Lanka would emerge as a good location for FDI,”
Currently the country volume of trade with the European Union was approximately 4 billion dollars.
However, with the expected regaining of the GSP+ no less than 6,000 products made in Sri Lanka may be exported duty free to the European Union.
“The Minister stated that Sri Lanka’s objective should be to double her exports, currently valued at US$ 11 billion by 2020.”