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Pakistan, Sri Lanka discuss FTA, sign 8 deals
06
Jan '16
Nawaz Sharif speaking at an event in Colombo.  Courtesy: PID
Nawaz Sharif speaking at an event in Colombo. Courtesy: PID
The Free Trade Agreement between Pakistan and Sri Lanka came up for discussion on Tuesday during the visit of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the island nation. During his meeting with sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, the two sides discussed the issues related to the implementation of the FTA and agreed to include Services and Investments chapters in the bilateral trade agreement.

"This would enable our companies to form joint ventures for export to third countries," Sri Lankan and Pakistani newspapers quoted Sharif as saying. Sharif, who is on a three-day visit, noted that Sri Lanka enjoys exceptional position of being the first country with which Pakistan entered into a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

"The present volume of trade (approx. $325 million) does not reflect true potential. We have agreed to re-invigorate our efforts to realize the goal of achieving $1 billion bilateral trade target at the earliest. I re-iterated Pakistan's offer to setup Cement and Sugar Plants in Sri Lanka, on mutually agreed terms, for the long term benefit of Sri Lankan economy. We have also conveyed our readiness to welcome Sri Lankan investment in Pakistan. We have also expressed satisfaction on the work of Pakistan-Sri Lanka Joint Economic Commission in promoting bilateral trade," he said.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka also signed eight agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoU). The agreements for cooperation in fields of health, education, trade, technology, tourism, gems and jewelry were signed during delegation-level talks between the two countries.

Among the MoUs signed was one between Pakistan Sri Lanka Business Council of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Pakistan and Sri Lanka Pakistan Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

Nawaz Sharif and his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe launched the 'Pakistan Single Country Exhibition 2016' aimed at tapping the business potential of two countries.

Addressing a gathering of Pakistani and Sri Lankan businessmen, Sharif invited the Sri Lankan businessmen to invest in different sectors in Pakistan.

Sharif said the `Pakistan Single Country Exhibition' would provide a useful platform to further enhance the excellent commercial and bilateral relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

He termed it a timely opportunity for Sri Lankan businessmen to benefit from what he called the vibrant and progressive economy of Pakistan.

Wickremesinghe said that while Pakistan and Sri Lankan enjoyed strong political relationship, the economic relationship needed to be strengthened. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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