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First review meeting of FTA with Sri Lanka held on Friday

Mar '07
The first review meeting of Pak-Sri Lanka FTA joint committee was held on March 16, 2007 in Islamabad.

FTA between Pakistan and Sri Lanka came into existence in June 2005. The meeting was co-chaired by Humayun Akhtar Khan, Minister for Commerce and Prof G L Peiris, Minister for Export Development and International Trade, Government of Sri Lanka.

The Pakistani delegation included Secretary Commerce Syed Asif Shah, Joint Secretary Shahid Bashir and High Commissioner for Pakistan in Colombo Shahzad Chaudhry. Sri Lankan delegation included Memo Wijerante Minister for Enterprise Development, Ms Manel De Silva DG Commerce and others.

Humayun Akhtar Khan welcomed the visiting minister and his delegation to the meeting on behalf of Government of Pakistan and on his own behalf. He further stated that though the joint committee at ministerial level, which was established under the bilateral agreement, could not meet earlier to review the progress of its implementation, officials of both governments had an excellent working relationship and played a proactive role in resolving issues which arose during initial implementation phase of the agreement.

G L Peiris expressed gratitude for the warm welcome and excellent hospitality extended to him and his delegation since their arrival. He further said that trade has increased after the FTA. He termed the FTA a landmark event in the history of both countries.

Humayun Akhtar Khan in his statement reviewed the bilateral trade after implementation of the agreement and discussed the future road map to faster bilateral economic and commercial linkage by initiating negotiations on trade in services and investment. He emphasized the need to institute facilitation measures to reduce cost of doing trade, especially by SME sectors of both countries.

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