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Sri Lanka signs FTA with Singapore despite protests from Colombo professionals

The Sri Lankan government on Tuesday signed a Free Trade Agreement with Singapore, despite professionals in Colombo urging the government against the pact. 

The pact was signed by Sri Lanka's Minister for Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama and Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaranduring during an official state visit of Singaporean prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong. 

Professionals objecting to the FTA said there was insufficient legal framework for such a pact in Sri Lanka. 

"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 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," a joint statement read. 

Read full statement here