Singapore and Sri Lanka sign free trade agreement deepening economic ties

Sri Lanka and Singapore signed a Free Trade Agreement on Tuesday during the official visit of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to Colombo from January 22 to 24, at the invitation of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.

The signing of the Free Trade Agreement deepening the economic ties between the two countries took place following the bilateral discussions between visiting Prime Minister and President Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat.

At the Official Meeting, President Sirisena and Prime Minister Lee discussed strengthening bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Singapore, and exchanged views on key regional and international developments.

They noted the warm friendship between the two countries, including the close historical and cultural ties, and encouraged greater people-to-people linkages. They also discussed ways to enhance cooperation in the areas of Technical and Vocational Education Training and public sector capacity building. Prime Minister Lee encouraged Sri Lanka to enhance its engagements with ASEAN and the ASEAN Regional Forum, a joint statement issued after the meeting said.

Following the meeting, President Sirisena and Prime Minister Lee witnessed the signing of the Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA), a comprehensive and forward-looking FTA with mutually beneficial outcomes and meaningful commitments for both Sri Lanka and Singapore.

The Minister for Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama and Minister for Trade and Industry of the Republic of Singapore S. Iswaran signed the Free Trade Agreement on behalf of the respective Governments, in the presence of President Sirisena, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The Leaders underscored the importance of strengthening trade and investment cooperation, and expressed confidence that the SLSFTA, and increased dialogue between the businesses, will further deepen bilateral economic ties.

Prime Minister Lee thanked President Sirisena for the warm and generous hospitality accorded to him and his delegation during the Official Visit, and extended an invitation to President Sirisena to make a State Visit to Singapore.

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