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International Trade Agreements Sri Lanka: What You Need to Know

International trade agreements play a significant role in shaping global economic relations. As an island nation, Sri Lanka relies heavily on international trade to fuel its economy. In this article, we will explore the key international trade agreements Sri Lanka is involved in, and what they mean for the country`s economic growth.

The World Trade Organization (WTO)

The World Trade Organization is the primary body responsible for regulating international trade among member countries. Sri Lanka joined the WTO in 1995, which has played a crucial role in opening up its markets to the rest of the world. The WTO has helped Sri Lanka in increasing trade in goods and services, attract foreign direct investment, and promote economic development.

South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA)

SAFTA is a trade agreement among the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries. The objective of SAFTA is to reduce tariffs and non-tariff barriers on goods traded between member countries. Sri Lanka is a signatory to SAFTA, and it has played a significant role in enhancing trade relations between the country and other SAARC nations.

Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA)

APTA is a trade agreement that aims to promote economic cooperation among member countries. Sri Lanka joined APTA in 2005, which was instrumental in reducing tariffs on Sri Lankan exports to other member countries such as China, South Korea, and India. The agreement has helped in promoting cross-border investment, improving the business climate, and facilitating economic growth in the region.

Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)

Sri Lanka has signed several Free Trade Agreements with other countries, including India, Pakistan, and Singapore. FTAs are designed to promote trade between member countries by eliminating tariffs on goods and services. For example, the Sri Lanka-Singapore FTA has allowed Sri Lankan businesses to access the Singapore market at zero tariffs, facilitating trade in goods and services between the two countries.


International trade agreements play an essential role in facilitating economic development in Sri Lanka. The country`s participation in various trade agreements has allowed it to expand its export markets, increase foreign investment, and strengthen economic ties with other countries. As Sri Lanka continues to grow and develop, it is essential that it continues to participate actively in international trade agreements that promote economic growth and development.