News & Media


November 11, 2016    Reading Time: 2 minutes

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Mexican government expresses willingness to hold discussions on NAFTA. Image Credit - jkraft5 / depositphotos

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* A Daily Brief will not be published on Monday 14th November, due to the local public holiday.


Minister of Finance presents 2017 budget proposal

The Minister of Finance, Ravi Karunanayake, has presented the budget proposed for 2017 to Parliament on 10 November. Minister Karunanayake stated that the proposed budget aims to advance economic growth and social inclusion.

The budget proposals include the following: removing duties and taxes on imported agricultural machinery; establishing export villages focusing on robotics, high-end apparel, and boat manufacturing; and introducing a carbon tax on automobiles.

KLM resumes flights to Sri Lanka

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has resumed flights to Colombo, following an absence of nearly two decades. The carrier will be KLM’s new Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliner’, scheduled to fly between Colombo and Amsterdam twice a week.

The passengers of the first flight to Sri Lanka included the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Sri Lanka and Maldives, Joanne Doornewaard, and the General Manager of Air France-KLM for the Indian Subcontinent, Max Smits.

Sri Lanka and Bangladesh discuss possible FTA

Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have discussed the possibility of entering into a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), during the fifth Sri Lanka-Bangladeshi Joint Economic Commission session in Colombo.

The Bangladeshi Minister of Commerce, Tofail Ahmed, stated that the ‘FTA can become a reality when Sri Lanka’s high level leaders visit Dhaka next March.’ The agreement would be Bangladesh’s first ever FTA with a country.


President Obama meets President-elect Trump

President Barack Obama has met with the new US President-elect, Donald Trump, for a 90 minute discussion at the Oval Office. President Obama expressed his willingness to help the President-elect succeed, emphasising that this would lead to the success of the country.

US President-elect Trump also met with the Speaker of the House of Representatives and fellow Republican, Paul Ryan, and stated that he was looking forward to beginning work as soon as possible.

India opposes World Bank decision on water treaty dispute

India has opposed the World Bank’s decision to establish a Court of Arbitration and appoint a neutral expert to investigate its dispute with Pakistan. The dispute is related to the Kishenganga and Ratle dam and hydropower projects in Jammu and Kashmir.

India pointed out that implementing both mechanisms simultaneously was ‘legally untenable’. The World Bank decision follows Pakistan’s claim that the projects do not comply with the Indus Water Treaty.

Mexico open to discuss NAFTA

The Mexican Minister of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo, has stated that Mexico is willing to hold discussions on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with US President-elect, Donald Trump. The statement comes in light of President-elect Trump’s criticism against NAFTA and protectionist sentiments on trade.

Minister Guajardo stated that the discussions would aim to highlight the strategic importance of the agreement. Mexico’s Foreign Minister, Claudia Ruiz Massieu, stated that there was potential to ‘modernise’ NAFTA, but there would be no scope to renegotiate the deal.

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