Sri Lanka hopes to sign FTA with China

COLOMBO, Sep 17 (IANS) Sri Lanka is negotiating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China, a top minister said Tuesday.

The negative list is a key point that remains to be resolved, Xinhua quoted Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana, Sri Lanka's investment promotion minister, as saying.

The minister said the government was attempting to promote Sri Lanka's vibrant apparel industry, which is targeting a revenue of $4.1 billion in 2013, for preferential tariffs.

"We are also working on getting a range of items given 100 percent tax exemptions," he said.

Abeywardana also expressed hope that the FTA would be signed ahead of a landmark Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which is scheduled to be held in mid-November.

However, experts have already voiced concern that an FTA would be a massive disadvantage for local manufacturers.


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