Rajapaksa tells companies to ready for China

10 April 2014

Xinhua, Colombo :
Sri Lanka's private sector should ready themselves to tap into new markets including China said President Mahinda Rajapaksa Tuesday assuring a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is nearing finalization with the fastest growing economy in the world.
Speaking to top rung private and public sector officials President Rajapaksa in an upbeat mood called for the private sector to equip themselves for challenges posed by new markets, especially from China, and avail themselves to new opportunities provided for by the government.
Sri Lanka's government last year inked a preliminary agreement to install a FTA between the two countries and it is expected to be completed before December.
President Rajapaksa recalled that since the end of a three decade war in 2009 Sri Lanka had achieved significant growth and the next step was to break into new markets.
Relations between the two countries have leap frogged since 2008 with around 5 billion U.S. dollars in infrastructure loans being given to the Rajapaksa government by China for various massive projects including ports, airport, highways and railroads.
But trade has remained low with exports accounting for about 1 percent of Sri Lanka's 1.3 billion U.S. dollar sector.
"Political stability has been achieved and this gives the right environment for growth. We must now focus on where to go and plan for 2030 or 2050 and beyond. We will find new markets.  One such place is China. An FTA between the two countries is imminent," he emphasized.

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