Pakistan and Sri Lanka officials to find solutions to enhance mutual trade
Pakistan virtually hosted the 7th Session of Commerce Secretaries Level Talks with the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. Both sides engaged in fruitful discussions on strengthening trade ties and resolving issues leading to trade delays. The two sides also discussed the prospects of further enhancing trade through mutual cooperation and facilitation.
Special Secretary for the Ministry of Commerce Dr. Muhammad Sohail Rajput led Pakistan while Secretary for the Ministry of Trade J.M. Bhadranie Jayawardhana was present from the Srilankan side. Both sides emphasized the need to use this forum to further strengthen the existing bilateral trade and investment linkages between the two countries.
Both sides also agreed to reactivate the forum of Joint Working Groups (JWGs) for the redressal of technical issues pending between the two trading partners. It was also decided that the next JWG meeting will take place during the first half of 2021. Both Pakistan and Sri Lanka are looking to enhance cooperation in trade-related matters so that the true potential of the Free Trade Agreement could be effectively exploited.
The Secretaries of the two sides agreed to the text of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in the field of investment and resolved that it will usher new avenues of bilateral investment. The meeting concluded with the commitment to expand and cement the bilateral relationship between the two countries. The Sri Lankan delegation acknowledged Pakistan’s long-standing trading partnership and its status as a closer ally.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan will be visiting Sri Lanka from Feb 23 to 24 on the invitation of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and both sides are eagerly awaiting the visit.
Pakistan and Sri Lanka have always maintained friendly relations. Pakistan provided a great bit of support to the Sri Lankan military in its fight against the Tamil Tigers back in the 1990s and 2000s when they waged a war against the state.