'FTA with China will strengthen economic relations
Verité Research, a research and strategy firm and the Exporters’
Association of Sri Lanka (EASL) of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC)
have organised a seminar 'Doing Business with China: FTA and Beyond' on
November 26 at the Taj Samudra, Colombo, from 2.00 to 5.30 pm.
The seminar will help explore opportunities and challenges for Sri
Lankan businesses as they try to navigate the forthcoming Free Trade
Agreement (FTA) and do business with China.
The event is timely, given the increasingly important role China is
playing in the Sri Lankan economy. China's significance as a lender,
investor, trading partner and a source of tourists is gaining momentum
and the proposed FTA will further strengthen the economic relationship
between the two countries, a CCC official said.
Verité Research will share their analysis on what shapes Sino-Lanka
economic ties and potential gains and losses for businesses.
Trade expert and Head of Economic Research at Verité Research,
Subhashini Abeysinghe, will make the keynote presentation. In addition
to the FTA, Abeysinghe is due to talk about overall bilateral economic
ties and draw comparisons to China's engagements with other emerging
economies in the world. She is also expected to draw comparisons between
Sri Lanka's engagements with India, the other leading economy in the
region, and unravel the similarities and the differences of engaging
with India and China.
Since the signing of the rubber-rice pact between the two countries
in 1952, Sri Lanka has had a lasting bilateral relationship with China.
However, much of the past decade in particular has seen bilateral
relations between Sri Lanka and China strengthen steadily and at
present, the relationship is at its highest point yet.
The visit of Chinese President Xi Jinpin to Sri Lanka in September
reignited public interest in the Sino-Lanka relationship and the
possibility of a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA). China, with an
economy of US$9.2 trillion, is the second largest economy in the world.
It is also the largest exporter and the second largest importer in the
Forging closer economic ties with an economy of this magnitude
provides many opportunities and poses many challenges for the Sri Lankan
Understanding the dynamics of this evolving relationship is critical
for businesses to exploit the opportunities and face the challenges and
the seminar will be useful for senior decision-makers of businesses
hoping to engage with China.
In addition to Abeysinghe's presentation, the seminar will feature
other Sri Lankan economists. Among them is Executive Director of Verité
Research, Dr. Nishan de Mel, who will chair a panel discussion that
includes Senior Economist at Hayleys Limited Deshal de Mel and Research
Economist at the Institute of Policy Studies, Anushka Wijesinha.
Chairman of the Apparel Exporters’ Association Yohan Lawrence, and the
former Secretary General of the Tea Exporters’ Association, Niraj de Mel
will provide industry perspectives.