Accession to RCEP will link Sri Lanka more broadly to the architecture of ASEAN, with which it is now bound by its membership in the ASEAN Regional Forum, which deals primarily with security issues. “It will liberalize trade and services, it will improve investment in Sri Lanka and it will give a chance to production and service,” he said. Under the agreement, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre is an institution where investor-state disputes can be negotiated. MTI said this was in line with the objective of promoting Singapore as a hub of the arbitration court. Sri Lanka should also use this opportunity to address its large trade deficit with Singapore. Sri Lankan exports to Singapore are concentrated in precious stones, refined petroleum, textiles and boats; Exports from agriculture, fisheries and services are lagging behind. Sri Lanka`s economy fears that the free trade agreement could lead to a “round tripping” of state-subsidized imports from ASEAN and China via Singapore. They hope that the agreement`s rules of origin, which impose at least 35% of Singapore`s value added, will suffice. In order to address these and other concerns, Sri Lanka is considering strengthening temporary trade measures such as WTO-consistent safeguard measures and anti-dumping measures. . .

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