Sri Lanka and China will hold high level discussions in June on the possibility of signing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA), Sri Lanka’s ministry of industry and commerce said in a statement yesterday.
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce in a statement said “China is a promising market for Sri Lanka’s select, premium products such as gems, and an important round of bilateral talks on Sri Lanka-China FTA is scheduled for next month.”
Subject Minister Rishad Bathiyutheen said that Sri Lanka was committed to pursuing an outward oriented trade regime following the principles of the World Trade Organization, with a view to enhancing overseas market access for its export products and achieving greater integration into the world economy.
Minister Bathiyutheen said trade between Sri Lanka and China crossed the 4 billion US dollar mark last year for the first time in the bilateral trade history, surging by 17 per cent from 2014’s 3.58 billion US dollars.
About 93 per cent of last year’s total trade was imports from China, mainly iron and steel, fabrics and fibres, cotton and urea fertilizer.