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China becomes largest import provider as FTA talks progress says Sri Lanka

Talks on establishing a Free Trade Agreement between Sri Lanka and China are to reach their seventh round said Sri Lanka’s Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen.

Speaking at the launch of the China Guangxi Products Expo in Colombo on Friday, Mr Bathiudeen highlighted that 42% of Sri Lanka’s imports where from China, adding,

“Our talks with China are progressing smoothly, the sixth round of talks were successfully concluded in March in Beijing. We are working for the seventh FTA round next.”

“In recent years, China-Sri Lanka two-way trade has grown faster than our trade with many other countries. Last year China became the largest import origin for us. 42% of our total imports from the world in 2016 came from China at a value of $4.2 billion. The result was that China is now the largest global supplier to Sri Lanka.”

Noting that the World Bank and IMF had ranked China as the world’s largest economy Minister Bathiudeen added that entering into a FTA with China would  be hugely beneficial for Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s bi-lateral trade with China has increased by 363% to $4.4 billion since 2007 reports Colombo Page.