Sri Lanka has shown interests in exploring a bilateral trade agreement with China. Both countries now have agreed that they would embark on a Free Trade Agreement, which hopes to open up the vast Chinese market to Sri Lanka’s producers, manufacturers and exporters. In this regard, it is imperative that the agreement covers a substantial number of tariff lines and trade as well as address non-tariff barriers that may hinder export expansion.
In this context, it is necessary to undertake an in-depth study as well as for the government to engage and consult various stakeholders in the country; traders, producers/manufacturers and consumers, before the agreement is finalized, as pointed out by the Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka. For this reason this study: 1) examines Sri Lanka’s existing FTAs to identify key stumbling blocks relating to both tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade, which should be borne in mind when negotiating a trade agreement with China, 2) describes salient features of China’s existing FTAs with countries/regions (ASEAN, Pakistan, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Peru, Costa Rica, Iceland, Switzerland) and 3) identifies products with export potential to China-products of interest to Sri Lanka which should form part of trade negotiations with China.