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Sunday, 28 February 2016

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Sri Lanka to join Trans-Pacific Partnership?

Sri Lanka is exploring the possibility of joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership(TPP), Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera told a gathering in the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington DC on Thursday that a feasibility study was under way.

"A leading government think tank was preparing a feasibility study and we will continuously evaluate developments on this front." Samaraweera said. The TPP which has 12 countries as members, aims at setting up, market-oriented rules in international commerce and checking trade and investment barriers.

The US, Singapore, Japan and Australia, are among the member-countries which signed a pact early this month. According to estimates, the member-countries account for around 36 percent of the world's Gross Domestic Product or $ 28 trillion. Eaborating on Sri Lanka's trade agreements, he said the government was finalising the formal applications for the GSP+ and hopes to regain the facility by the end of the year. He added that they are already held discussions to sign a Free Trade Agreement with China and a concerted effort is also under way to improve the domestic business climate.

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