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New team of FTA negotiators to be appointed

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24 January 2019 10:26 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama plans to appoint a new free trade agreement (FTA) negotiation team shortly with the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers, a top ministry official told Mirror Business. 


The post of Chief FTA Negotiator remains vacant as former Chief FTA Negotiator K.J. Weerasinghe tendered his resignation, indicating health reasons earlier this year. 


Weerasinghe, who was a former Director General at the Commerce Department, was said to have been frustrated over the allegations made by certain professionals and trade unions on the Sri Lanka-Singapore FTA. 

He in an earlier occasion said he wanted to resign as Chief FTA Negotiator due to the “baseless allegations” levelled against the Sri Lanka-Singapore FTA.


Meanwhile, Sri Lanka has commenced reviewing all completed feasibility studies of the on-going FTA negotiations as well as the proposed FTAs, with the involvement of the Commerce Department. 


The Sri Lankan and Indian FTA negotiators have already completed 11 rounds of negotiations on the Economic and Technology Co-operation Agreement. 


The proposed China-Sri Lanka FTA talks remain stalled for over one year, due to disagreements over the schedule of tariff liberalisation. 
Sri Lanka is yet to schedule dates for any ongoing FTA talks this year. 
(NF)


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