By Chathuri Dissanayake
The free trade agreement between Sri Lanka and Singapore is now in force despite a commission appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena to analyze the deal, State Secretary for National Policy and Economic Affairs said. Harsha de Silva, in which she condemned attempts by the opposition to create a bogeyman "From the trade agreement in Singapore.
During a press conference at the headquarters of the United National Party, Sirikotha, the Secretary of State said that, although the president appointed a committee to analyze the trade agreement, the free trade agreement, signed in March this year, is already in force.
"The agreement was approved by the Cabinet and the appointed committee will issue its report, but it is now in force," he said.
The Silva claims that the opposition has invoked the plans of the Singapore government to use Sri Lanka as a waste disposal site and has insisted that the country be protected by international treaties and regulations to control transboundary movements of waste.
"We have protected our interests and we have regulations such as the Basle Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, which we have participated in. Adapted obligations are not the only way to prevent such problems. The law of the country prevails. Quarantine laws and other non-tariff measures have been imposed to ensure this, "he said.
The Secretary of State stressed the need to enter into trade agreements with several countries to penetrate trade networks and said that the country needs free trade agreements to implement global trading blocks to prevent it from being set aside.
"By the end of the year, a trade bloc will be formed called Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership with all ASEAN countries, plus six others: Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, China. and India, the only ones that will come out are Bangladesh and Sri Lanka If we can not even have a free trade agreement with Singapore, how can we conclude agreements with 15 other countries? ", Silva asks.
Access to the trade network in ASEAN and ASEAN plus region is a must, he said, pointing out that the Sri Lankan economy depends on how well the country is able to penetrate the world market.
"We can not develop the economy in any way by trading in the Sri Lankan market alone, but we have to look beyond narrow political interests."
The State Secretary also rejected arguments that nationals from other countries will flood Sri Lanka.