‘SL needs to cast FTA net bigger’ | Daily News

‘SL needs to cast FTA net bigger’

Institute of policy Studies Deputy Director says that it is much more strategic to have more bi-lateral FTAs and unilateral reforms that will allow Sri Lanka to pace and sequence the trade strategy in a way that the country could reap best tangible benefits out of it.

Commenting on the Indo - Lanka FTA, at the Economic Summit Weerakoon noted that benefits that Sri Lanka received out of the FTA were largely on the services and investment front even thought the agreement was on goods.

Noting that the issues of FTAs and bi-lateral reforms are magnets for the oppositions to hold rallies in the current climate, Weerakoon added that Sri Lanka doesn’t have more options but to look at integrating with the global economy as it is a resources constraint emerging economy.

“Sri Lanka simply doesn’t have a market size to generate growth at a reasonable rate and sustain it over a period of time without relaying on imports of food and services. ”

Also Sri Lanka needs to cast its FTA net quite wide while initiating bi-lateral negotiations with a large group of countries with the objective of integrating with the global community.

She said that there is a considerable space for Sri Lanka to align its bi-lateral FTA negotiations with unilateral reforms and th closer economic integration can also have a negative impact on an economy and create long- term structural unemployment in the country. 

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