China, Sri Lanka To Work Towards Successful Conclusion Of FTA

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and the Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to work towards the successful conclusion of the proposed China-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which is under negotiation, Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a media statement.

The statement further added that the proposed FTA has the potential of setting in motion a new chapter in bilateral trade and economic relations.

President Sirisena signalled Sri Lanka’s interest to see genuine progress on the FTA, while recognising the asymmetries between the two economies, towards achieving a more balanced and sustainable bilateral trade and economic cooperation, the MFA statement said.

The two sides agreed to convene the third round of negotiations on the FTA in the near future.

The two leaders agreed to consider ways and means of enhancing future development cooperation between the two countries.  President Sirisena acknowledged the contribution of Chinese development assistance to Sri Lanka’s socio-economic prosperity, and welcomed assistance in priority sectors identified by the Government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

President Sirisena also shared the interest of China in the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road for greater economic cooperation.  President Sirisena expressed willingness to explore this concept which Sri Lanka viewed as a road of friendship, economic cooperation and cultural and social exchange in a new, inclusive and inter-connected world, MFA statement said.

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