The Sri Lanka- Singapore Free Trade Agreement is to be finalized by the end of the year, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ravi Karunanayake said yesterday.
Both visiting Singaporean Foreign Minister Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan and Karunanayake addressing the media in Colombo yesterday said they were working towards completing the FTA which would be modern, comprehensive, ambitious and demonstrate that both countries were open for business.
Welcoming Karunanyake to the club of Foreign Ministers, Dr. Balakrishnan spoke of a better connectivity between the countries which would ensure they would become the gateway to business in each others respective regions.
“The bigger the pipeline we build the greater the opportunities for our respective countries. We believe that with the FTA Sri Lanka would be the gateway to South Asia as we would be the gateway for Sri Lanka to South East Asia,” he said.
Dr. Balakrishnan is scheduled to visit Jaffna today, where he would take part in an event to hand over books donated from the Singapore National Library Board to the Jaffna Public Library and visit the Orthopedic Ward of the Teaching Hospital where he would plant a tree at the premises.
The Minister will also visit the University of Jaffna to take part in the launch of the Lee Foundation-SingHealth Orthopaedic Development Programme at the Medical Faculty. During his stay in Jaffna he would also call on the Governor of the Northern Province Reginald Cooray and Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran and have an interaction with Businessmen of the Chamber of Commerce of Jaffna. (Nabeela Hussain)
- Pix by Waruna Wanniarachchi