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Singapore, Sri Lanka Sign Free Trade Pact

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

26 January 2018


Sri Lanka signed its first ever comprehensive free trade agreement on January 23, with Singapore.

The signing of the Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA) took place during a visit by Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to Sri Lanka, concluding talks which began in June 2016.

In a speech delivered to the Sri Lanka–Singapore Business Forum on January 24 following the signature of the FTA, Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry, S Iswaran explained that:

"When the SLSFTA is in force, Sri Lankan importers will be able to benefit as custom duties are reduced in phases over the next few years for goods imported from Singapore. This would also benefit Sri Lankan consumers, increasing the variety and affordability of high-quality products."

He added that "the Trade in Services chapter creates more opportunities for our professionals in sectors such as Professional Services, Environmental Services, Construction, and Tourism to offer their respective services in each other's markets. The Government Procurement Chapter offers companies the assurance that international tenders for Government projects will be conducted fairly and transparently, while the Investment Chapter will help attract more investments by providing investors with assurances that their investments will be protected."

TAGS: investment | business | free trade agreement (FTA) | Sri Lanka | trade treaty | Singapore | professionals | trade | services | business investment

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