The much touted Sri Lanka – Singapore FTA was signed on 23 January 2018, marking a milestone moment in the trade and economic relations between the two islands. This blog analyses the key features of the FTA and the benefits Sri Lanka can reap from the partnership.
With the Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak’s visit to Sri Lanka, there has been a renewed interest in entering into a FTA with Malaysia. If such a FTA comes into fruition, how will it impact Sri Lanka’s trade? Preliminary estimates by IPS suggest that likely gains from bilateral trade liberalization in goods will be limited to few products, but there might be gains from other areas of cooperation, namely in investment flows to Sri Lanka.
Since Sri Lanka regained the EU’s GSP Plus facility last month, there have been varying views on its actual economic benefit to Sri Lanka. This article by Janaka Wijayasiri numerically estimates the export benefit of GSP Plus to Sri Lanka, identifying the leading beneficiaries in the country and their gains.
Sri Lanka’s flailing export sector gained some breathing space recently with the EU granting its GSP-Plus facility, which was withdrawn in 2010. While it is being touted as a significant achievement for Sri Lanka’s economic drive, this article argues that, its impact will provide only temporary relief. Therefore policymakers as well as the private sector should urgently ensure broader economic reforms in order to make the best use of this opportunity.
Sri Lankan pepper, like other spices from the island, is famous for its inherent quality. This article highlights the need to collectively upgrade standards governing the product and production process across the pepper value chain in the country to boost pepper exports and competitiveness.