By Uditha Jayasinghe
COLOMBO (Reuters) -Thailand and Sri Lanka signed a Free Trade Agreement on Saturday, a transfer Sri Lanka hopes will assist it emerge from its worst monetary disaster in many years.
The island nation has been renewing a concentrate on trade offers to foster financial progress and assist its battered economic system, which is estimated by the World Bank to have contracted 3.8% final yr, after a extreme overseas alternate crunch plunged it right into a wider monetary disaster.
The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is aimed toward enhancing market alternatives, with negotiations overlaying numerous points reminiscent of Trade in Goods, Investment, Customs Procedure and Intellectual Property Rights, the quick assertion added.
A delegation headed by Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin arrived in Colombo on Saturday to sign the FTA together with different agreements and Thavisin can even attend Sri Lanka’s 76th Independence Day celebrations on Sunday.
“This will provide tremendous business opportunities for both sides. We encourage our private sectors to explore the potentials of two-way trade and investment,” Prime Minister Thavisin advised a joint media briefing following the signing.
The two international locations additionally signed a brand new bilateral air providers agreement, offering for liberalized air providers between the 2 international locations.
The international locations’ two-way trade was value about $460 million in 2021, Sri Lankan central financial institution knowledge reveals. Sri Lanka exports primarily tea and valuable stones to Thailand and imports digital gear, meals, rubber, plastics and prescribed drugs.