Sino-SL FTA to boost SL garment industry

Monday, 21 October 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Chinese investors will contribute to develop Sri Lanka’s garment and handloom textile industries and find international markets for the products thus helping to reduce unemployment among rural women in this country. Deputy International Trade Representative of the Ministry of Commerce of China Yu Jianhua said this when he met Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa at the Ministry Office on 17 October. Minister Jianhua said Sri Lanka’s present level of development is impressive. Yu Jianhua’s powerful portfolio covers the Chinese Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs, the Department of WTO Affairs (China WTO Notification and Inquiry Centre), the Department of Asian Affairs, China International Centre for Economic and Technical Exchanges, China Association of International Trade and China Society for World Trade Organisation Studies. He recalled the decades-old bilateral relations between the two countries and said the most significant among them was the 1952 Rubber-Rice Pact. According Minister Jianhua the proposed China-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is the biggest leap since the R-R Pact. He emphasised that Sri Lanka is a priority country for China. The Chinese Minister pledged full assistance to Sri Lanka development programs and praised the government’s effort to develop the island’s agriculture. Minister Basil Rajapaksa stressed the need to find alternative jobs for women to reduce unemployment among them and explained to Minister Jianhua the steps the government is taking to eliminate poverty in the country. Minister Rajapaksa expressed the hope that many Chinese tourists would visit Sri Lanka in the coming months and added that 100 Chinese travel agents had already agreed to bring in tourists from China. Industry and Commerce Ministry Secretary Anura Siriwardena, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in China Ranjith Uyangoda, Department of Asian Affairs Commercial Counsellor Wang Liping and the Department’s Deputy Director Huang Sangfeng were among those who participated in the discussion at the Ministry.