Debt-Stricken Sri Lanka Signs Free Trade Pact With Thailand

Navid

Navid

Feb 3, 2024

AP reporting – Sri Lanka, facing a severe economic crisis, signed a trade agreement with Thailand aimed at boosting trade and investment. The Sri Lanka-Thailand Free Trade Agreement covers various aspects of trade, investment, customs procedures, and intellectual property rights.

In 2022, the two countries’ trade was valued at approximately $352 million, with Thailand exporting $292 million worth of goods and Sri Lanka exporting $58 million. Sri Lanka hopes this pact will increase bilateral trade to $1.5 billion. The agreement also includes plans for investment in areas such as fisheries, food processing, tourism, and green energy, with Thailand having invested over $92 million in Sri Lanka from 2005 to 2022.

Thailand’s flag carrier, Thai Airways, will resume daily flights to Sri Lanka, boosting tourism. Sri Lanka has been grappling with its economic crisis since declaring bankruptcy in April 2022, seeking to restructure $17 billion of its outstanding debt and working with external creditors. The country aims to stabilize its economy and regain international confidence while pursuing economic transformation and integration with Asia through agreements with countries like Thailand, Singapore, India, and China.

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