July 08, Colombo: Sri Lanka's State Minister of International Trade Sujeewa Senasinghe says the government expects to raise the exports earnings to US$ 20 billion by 2020 from current US$ 11 billion.
State Minister Senasinghe said the government is trying to enter into Free Trade Agreements with five countries including China, Thailand, and Singapore.
"Itís a tipping point for our country. We are in a very crucial time. We put a good platform. On this solid platform we are trying to sign five free trade agreements, with China, India, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore."
He expressed these views while participating in the inauguration of the Thai Week Trade Exhibition at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) yesterday.
The Minister further said that with the FTAs Sri Lanka will able to open a market of about 2.5 billion. "We are going to make Sri Lanka the gateway to South Asia and even South East Asia," he said.
The Minister said 3,000 acres are being developed as industrial zones to facilitate the trade under the trade agreements.
"We want Sri Lanka to be a manufacturing hub. Our exports are US$ 11 billion and our target is US$ 20 billion by 2020."
Minister Senasinghe highlighted that on the good governance foundation Sri Lanka got the fisheries ban lifted and regained the European Union's GSP+ facility.
"On this foundation Sri Lanka can be a very prosperous county in the future," the Minister stressed.