Yonov Frederick Agah, Deputy Director General of the WTO, while addressing the gathering highlighted the trade policy review mechanism as a transparent system to learn about developments in trade and economic policies of the Member countries of WTO.
The positive trade policy development of Sri Lanka relating to ratification of WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, the launch of the single window system by the Customs in January 2016 and the strong growth in the services sector were commendable achievements, he stated.
Deputy Director General Agah stated that Sri Lanka has significantly taken advantage of WTO trade-related technical assistance. Between January 2014 and October 2016, 261 officials from Sri Lanka have participated in 274 technical and capacity development activities undertaken by the WTO. The Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) of WTO has also extended assistance to Sri Lanka that resulted in concrete benefits to improve competitiveness of selected export items. The WTO will continue to extend its facilities for Sri Lanka towards its trade and economic achievements.
“It is important for a smaller economy such as Sri Lanka to streamline its trade and economic policies aligning them with sustainable development goals” said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen making a presentation on the side-lines of Sri Lanka’s 4th Trade Policy Review at the World Trade Organization in Geneva.
Sri Lanka delegation was headed by Minister Bathiudeen, who presented Sri Lanka’s economic perspectives to the large audience with over 150 participants under the theme “Sri Lanka – An Emerging Economic Hub in Asia”.
Minister Bathiudeen in his opening remarks said: “Sri Lanka is in a major transition in relation to its political, social and economic perspectives.
The National Unity Government is in the process of introducing major reforms to the economy. Sri Lanka is currently a lower-middle income country having per capita income of US$ 3924 and the country is in her way to become an upper-middle income country. Towards this journey, it is important for a smaller economy such as Sri Lanka to streamline its trade and economic policies aligning them with sustainable development goals he added.