Sri Lanka aims to have Free Trade Agreement with China

Colombo, March 2 (IANS) Sri Lanka aims to implement a Free Trade Agreement with China in order to gain an access to the market of 1.3 billion people, the country’s state investment agency said here on Wednesday.

Both countries recognised the benefits that can be leveraged through the positive relationship between trade and investment, the Board of Investments (BoI) said in a statement, Xinhua news agency reported.

The BoI said that the Sri Lankan government also informed China that it was accelerating the implementation of ongoing Chinese project in the island nation and aimed to attract more Chinese tourists to visit Sri Lanka.

“Both sides recognised that China’s Going Abroad strategy and Sri Lanka’s very favourable location on the Maritime Silk Road provided a strong basis for strengthening Sino-Lanka economic relations,” the BoI said.

It added that Colombo also paid its gratitude for Beijing’s support during the country’s 30-year civil conflict as well as assistance for infrastructure development.

China has been Sri Lanka’s biggest contributor of Foreign Direct Investments. Nearly, 70 percent of the infrastructure projects in the country have been funded by China and built by Chinese companies.

Sri Lanka already has preferential trade agreements with India and Pakistan.

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