Move to form giant free trade zone in Asia – Is Sri Lanka left out?

According to Secretary General of ASEAN Surin Pitsuwan Sixteen nations, home to roughly half the world's population, have agreed "in principle" to create a free trade area spanning Asia. He said trade ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and their counterparts from China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand will press their leaders to start talks on the trade zone at a regional summit to be held in November.

Already, a ‘Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership’ (RCEP) has been established and if the proposal for a ‘free trade area spanning Asia’ comes through it would transform the region - containing around 3.5 billion people - into an integrated market with a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $23 trillion, a third of the world's current annual GDP said the Secretary General of ASEAN.

ASEAN which consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam have already has five separate free trade agreements (FTAs) governing economic cooperation with the six partner countries.

According to Surin Pitsuwan it has been agreed, in principle, to strung together all these FTAs in existence into one. The pact will aim to eliminate trade barriers, create a liberal investment environment and protect intellectual property rights, according to the negotiation guidelines. This would make Asia stand up despite economic difficulties in other parts of the world.

However, there is no move from Sri Lanka towards joining such a partnership that would be beneficial to the country despite the economy in the country is confronted with crisis after a crisis.


0 #4 mahinda hordagoda 2016-08-24 14:46
The present Govt.has no economic policies.Going behind mahinda will only have to lick the wounds after 5 years .
+9 #3 2013-09-17 17:19
ජෙ ආර් ගෙ විවෘත ආර්ථික ප්‍රතිපත්ති නිසා අපේ රටට වී ඇති හානිය බොහෝ අයට පේන්නෙ නැති එක කණගාටුවට කරුනක් .මේ බටහිරෙන් අපට බලෙන් ගිල්ලවන මේ ඊනියා ධනවාදී නිදහස් වෙළඳ ගිවිසුම් ප්‍රතිපත්ති වලින් හාණියක් වෙනවා මිස කවදාවත් අපට ගොඩ එන්න බෑ .
+1 #2 2013-09-01 16:13
Sri Lanka is too small to have a free trade with other countries, it will only have an adverse effect on the country. Its strategic location can attract big countries for investments and its natural beauty to attract tourism are enough to make the country successful. But the fools and racist extremes are destroying the country.
0 #1 2013-01-13 18:53
On our own our economy is too small. We should create a genuine Indian Ocean Free Trade Zone with Bangaledesh,Nep al, Pakistan & Maldives. Remember the EU began as the Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands & Luxembourg)

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