Sri Lanka wary of entering into Fta with china

China and Sri lanka

The ongoing economic crisis and challenges of penetrating the Chinese market are making Sri Lanka cautious about concluding a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China, despite pressure.
Recently, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi held a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York. The Chinese Embassy said that the two sides had “agreed to speed up the negotiation process and strive for an early conclusion of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), thereby boosting the confidence in and stabilizing the expectations for their economic and trade cooperation,” Daily Mirror reported. However, the Sri Lankan minister tweeted about their meeting but there was no trace of the discussion on FTA.
While Sri Lanka has been prevaricating and dragging its feet on the FTA since talks on it began way back in 2015, China has been very keen on it, frequently reiterating it, and even making it a condition for continued financial investments in Sri Lanka.
Even, Qi Zhenhong, the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, had also discussed the FTA with the then Lankan Foreign Minister GL Peiris. In the press release. Sri Lanka said that China had signed over 26 FTAs, an FTA with Colombo. However, the economic crisis which intensified put paid to that. Daily Mirror citing EconomyNext, reported that the real opposition to FTA was from the entrenched Lankan monopolists.