Written by Tharushan Fernando
27 Feb, 2016 | 9:12 pm
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera addressed the US Institute of Peace in Washington DC on Advancing Reconciliation and Democracy. The event was jointly hosted by the Heritage Foundation.
“We are also improving our market access further abroad”,said Foreign Minister, Mangala Samaraweera who went on to note that due to the previous government’s human rights violations, GSP+ concessions to the EU were lost. He stated however, that following the successful visit of the EU Working Group on Human Rights to Sri Lanka, the formal application for GSP+ reapplication is being finalised and there is hope that it will be regained by the end of year and the country is in discussion with China to sign a free trade agreement.
“The United States is our single largest export market accounting for a quarter of Sri Lanka’s exports”, said the Foreign Minster who went on note that Sri Lanka has some concessionary access to the US market through the GSP facility and has also signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement. And upgrading these ties by signing a free trade agreement will go a long way in propelling Sri Lanka to achieving its economic and development and in addition.
The Foreign Minister added that the government is very seriously exploring the possibility of applying to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
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