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Sri Lanka hopes to sign China FTA in 2017, economic plan by June: PM

Apr 11, 2016 09:16 AM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka is expecting to wrap up an economic pact with India and free trade deal with China by the year end which will be signed in 2016 when the Chinese Premier visits the country, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.
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Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said the FTA with China has to be negotiated and special agreements resulting from deals already initialled also had to be wrapped up.
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"All these we will complete by the year and I have invited Chinese Prime Minister to come and sign the agreements next year," he told reporters Sunday.
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An economic deal with India will also be wrapped up by the year end. He said economic agreements were planned with Japan and Korea.
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Sri Lanka was also hoping to get back GSP+ benefits from the European Union.
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More trade deals will also be pursued with Singapore, Thailand, Pakistan, Turkey and Iran he said.
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Sri Lanka and China will set up a joint venture company with Chinese majority holding to run a Port City sea reclamation project where the reclaimed land will be given on a 99-year lease where a Colombo International Financial and Business District will be cited.
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Wickremesinghe said in June Sri Lanka will unveil a new economic plan in June 2016.
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The trade and economic deals with open markets and lay the foundation for infrastructure to be used.
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Wickremesinghe said when infrastructure is built, it has to be connected to an economic plan and free trade deals will open up markets of three billion people to Sri Lanka.
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"We hope that the two sides can accelerate the negotiation on the cooperation of the second-phase of the Hambantota Port project, which can make Colombo port city and the Hambantota Port advance together as well as help Sri Lanka give play to its location advantage to become an important international logistic hub," Chinese Premier Li Keqiang had told Wickremesinghe.
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"We should promote the negotiations of the China-Sri Lanka free trade agreement (FTA), in an effort to gain results within this year.
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"In line with Sri Lanka’s vision of building an economic development zone, we can actively carry out production capacity cooperation, make full use of China’s advantages in equipment manufacturing, and accelerate the infrastructure construction and industrialization process of Sri Lanka.
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"The Chinese government encourages capable Chinese enterprises to invest in Sri Lanka, and take part in the cooperation of port-neighboring industrial parks, special economic zones, and processing and manufacturing industry.
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"China hopes that Sri Lanka can offer policy support in this regard."

 


 

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