Study on China-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement

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.

Executive Summary

Research team

Janaka Wijayasiri
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Nipuni Perera
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Suwendrani Jayaratne
Dharshani Premaratne


The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC)
The National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCC)
The National Chamber of Exporters (NCE)
The Ceylon National Chamber of Industries (CNCI)
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

Published Year