SL should join India, China to reap benefits of trade arrangements: PM

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said today Sri Lanka should join India, China and other countries to reap the benefits of trade arrangements such as, the Belt and Road initiative and Asia- Africa trade corridor initiative.

He said this at the Dr. Saman Kelegama Memorial Conference held
in Colombo.

“Regardless of what the newspapers say, the leaders are having discussions on their own to ensure there is no rivalry. We have the interests of the Europeans in this region. Britain after leaving the European Union is showing interest in our region. The US talks of Indo-Pacific trade but what is happening with the US is a question with the tariff that has been imposed both in Europe and in Africa. However we are seeing this region taking an initiative in having its own trade region outside Japan, India and China. First is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership which has some more rounds of negotiations with India raising issues. However, that will be over. We have to join India, China and others, we cannot be left behind,” he said.

“You can be against the FTA with China and against other agreements. Without them where will we go then? We have to plan and take all the development into account. This will no longer be a small island. There are those whose mindsets are governed by Laski and Fabish who think small. We are thinking of a big nation. Fortunately we are not guided by those who follow Laski and Fabish but by the policies of King Parakrama Bahu,” he said. (Yohan Perera)