Free Trade Agreement(FTA) Direction Among Issues To Be Discussed By Najib In Sri Lanka
Posted on December 17th, 2017

From Azeman Ariffin Courtesy BERNAMA

COLOMBO (SRI LANKA), Dec 16 (Bernama) — The framework for the Malaysia-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is one of the main issues to be discussed in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s three-day official visit to the country, beginning tomorrow.

The charge d’affaires at the Malaysian High Commission in Sri Lanka, Zainal Izran Zahar said the Prime Minister would hold further discussions on the FTA in a meeting with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena here.

The two leaders had earlier agreed to explore opportunities of initiating the FTA during Sirisena’s visit to Malaysia last year.

He said the FTA discussion this time would focus more on the framework and direction of the agreement and both countries would be appointing their respective consultants.

Malaysia’s bilateral trade with Sri Lanka for the first nine months of this year was valued at US$500 million, an increase of 17.6 per cent as compared to the corresponding period last year.

Zainal Izran said Malaysia had more than US$3 billion worth of investments in the telecommunications, hydropower and tourism industries.

Najib and wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor are scheduled to arrive in the country tomorrow morning and this first official visit was also to reciprocate Sirisena’s official visit to Malaysia last year.

Najib’s tight schedule will begin with a meeting with Sirisena at the presidential palace and this visit is also to celebrate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

The Prime Minister’s entourage includes International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, Foreign Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican and Malaysia’s Special Envoy to South Asia, Tun S. Samy Vellu.

Najib is scheduled to witness the signing of several memoranda of understanding (MoU) between the governments and private companies.

The MoUs include collaboration in training for diplomatic officers, science and technology studies, health tourism and collaboration with several private companies including Axiata Group, one of Asia’s leading telecommunications groups.

Najib will also be joining a round-table meeting between leaders from both countries to explore various areas of cooperation.

The Prime Minister is also scheduled to meet the Malaysian diaspora in Sri Lanka and attend a luncheon on the official invitation of Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe before leaving for the Maldives on Tuesday.

— BERNAMA

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