Sri Lankan Calls On Firms To Ready For China FTA

Lanka's private sector should ready themselves to tap into China's market, the island nation's Finance Ministry Secretary said on Tuesday, as a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries is approaching.

Finance Ministry Secretary P.B. Jayasundara in an upbeat mood called for the private sector to prepare themselves for challenges posed by new markets, especially from China, and avail themselves to new opportunities provided for by the government.

Sri Lanka's government last year inked a preliminary agreement to install a FTA between the two countries and it is expected to be clinched by December.

Relations between the two countries have leapfrogged since 2008 with $5 billion in infrastructure loans being given to the Sri Lanka government by China for various massive projects including ports, airport, highways and railroads.

"We are quite optimistic based on our experience with other countries. My advice is to please get ready. You have to act and your acting depends on understanding China. When FTA happens, you have to understand everything Chinese or we will not get much in return. Business community must get ready to go to China for larger markets."

He also called on the country's banks to support private companies to invest or export to China.


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