PM eyes bilateral agreements to strengthen economy
Sri Lanka aims to strengthen its economy and move the country forward by entering into bilateral agreements with several countries including China and India, Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said. Wickremesinghe said the hour had arrived for Sri Lanka to be once again the economic hub it was in the ancient world on the Silk Route, the Xinhua reported. He further said that his government was in the final stages of formulating the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India and were also reviewing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China. Additionally, his government is also looking at entering into such partnerships with Singapore, Turkey, USA and Pakistan. “Our end goal is the creation and sustenance of a dynamic and thriving economic hub that will generate thousands of jobs,” he said. Sri Lanka is also planning to regain the Generalized System of Preference (GSP) Plus trade concessions from the EU after it was withdrawn from Sri Lanka as the island nation failed to meet certain conditions on human rights issues in 2010 when Mahinda Rajapakse was president. The Sri Lankan government is currently in discussions with the EU and are confident to regain the trade concessions this year.