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June 2, 2016    Reading Time: 2 minutes

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Singapore and Sri Lanka to draft a Free Trade Agreement. Image credit - joyful  /depositphotos

Reading Time: 2 min read


Sri Lanka ratifies WTO agreement

Sri Lanka has become the 81st member state of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to ratify its 2013 Agreement on Trade Facilitation.

The agreement, which contains provisions for harmonising customs procedures, will come into effect once it is ratified by two-thirds (108) of WTO members.

Singapore and Sri Lanka to discuss FTA

The Singaporean Minister for Trade and Industry, S Iswaran, stated that the formal drafting of the Singapore-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will begin next month, when Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe visits Singapore.

The FTA is expected to consist of commitments in goods and services trade, investment and government procurement.

Sri Lanka lifts restrictions on passports for Sri Lankan refugees

The government has lifted restrictions on the issuance of passports to Sri Lankan citizens who left the country due to conflict or political reasons.

The restrictions, placed in March 2011, instructed all Sri Lankan missions to refrain from issuing passports to those who had applied for and gained refugee status or asylum in another country, unless they renounced that status.


UN requested to airdrop aid to Syria

The US, UK, and France have urged the UN to airdrop humanitarian aid to besieged areas in Syria.

The request follows an alleged lack of compliance by the Syrian government in adhering to the aid distribution deadline. The UN Security Council will meet on Friday to discuss the airdrops.

UNSC condemns North Korean missile launch

The UN Security Council (UNSC) has condemned the failed ballistic missile tests conducted in April and May by North Korea, and threatened to take further ‘significant measures’.

The Council reiterated that the North Korean government should refrain from further actions in violation of the relevant UNSC resolutions. All member states were called upon to comply with the sanctions imposed on North Korea.

China welcomes talks with Philippines

The Chinese government has welcomed the incoming Philippine government’s proposal to hold talks over territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

The Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has backed multilateral talks between the US, Japan, Australia and all claimant nations, to settle disputes in the South China Sea.

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