Sri Lanka, Malaysia PMs agree to start negotiations for a comprehensive FTA

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Sri Lanka and Malaysia on Tuesday agreed to start negotiations for a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two states in order to strengthen the bilateral trade and economic relations during discussions held between the prime ministers of the two countries.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe hosted a luncheon meeting today in honor of his Malaysian counterpart Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is on a three-day official working visit to the island nation.

During the meeting both Prime Ministers extensively discussed the promotion of trade, investment and tourism between two countries and the possibility of future cooperation in the fields of science, technology and innovation, and digitalization of judicial documents, a joint statement issued after the meeting said.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe also requested Prime Minister Najib to encourage more Malaysian investments for infrastructure development in Sri Lanka. In that respect, both leaders also discussed utilizing Malaysian financing facility to build low-cost housing units in Sri Lanka by 2019.

Both leaders emphasized the importance of strengthening the bilateral trade and economic relations between Sri Lanka and Malaysia paving the way to further integrate into the growing regional trade within the East Asian region. In this context, both sides agreed to undertake and conclude the joint feasibility study for a comprehensive free trade agreement and to start negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement between both countries.

Prime Minister Najib and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe noted with satisfaction the conclusion of a productive Round Table Meeting which is set to deepen the bilateral economic engagements between the two countries. The Government of Sri Lanka would encourage more Sri Lankan investors to further explore the investment opportunities in Malaysia.

The visiting Premier met with the Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday for bilateral discussions. The two leaders witnessed the signing of three Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) in the Field of Training for Diplomats, on the Cooperation in Foresight and Science2Action and Collaboration in the Field of Science, Technology and Innovation Activities and Biotechnology Sector.

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