Ahead of FTA talks with China, Lanka worried about TPP

04 May '16
2 min read

Even as Sri Lanka prepares for the third round of talks for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China, the future of its garment exports is weighing heavily on Colombo's mind ahead of the Trans Pacific Partnership coming into force.

“When reviewing the garment sector, we need to be able to carefully address the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement under which tax free garment export opportunities have been given to countries such as Vietnam. This may also affect exports from Sri Lanka in the future,” Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said.

Bathiudeen was addressing the “Meet the Minister” session organised by the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka last week.

The TPP will enable countries to engage in competitive markets and supply the American and Japanese markets at low rates.

“TPP must therefore be reviewed further. In this context, arrangements are under way to hold the third round of negotiations for China-Sri Lanka FTA in June this year,” the Minister said.
Trade between Sri Lanka and China crossed the $4 billion mark last year for the first time in the bilateral trade history, surging by 17 per cent from 2014.

However, 93 per cent of 2015's total trade consisted of imports from China-mainly iron & steel, fabrics and fibers, cotton, and urea fertilizer. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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