Sitharaman to discuss next steps in ETCA during Lanka visit

New Delhi [India], Sept.26 : Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman will be visiting Sri Lanka from today in a bid to expand bilateral trade relations between the two countries.

She will be accompanied by senior ministry officials and a business delegation. During her three-day visit, Sitharaman will be meeting with Sri Lanka's Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malick Samarwickrama.

Her visit is a reciprocal trip coming after Samarwickrama's visit to India in July where several issues of economic cooperation between the two countries were discussed.

Sitharaman will also call on Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wicremsinghe. The proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) between the countries is likely to figure prominently during her discussions with the Sri Lankan leadership.

The visit comes ahead of a meeting to further discuss the agreement in New Delhi. Both sides have begun negotiations on the draft agreement and first round of talks was held in Colombo last month.

India and Sri Lanka have a free trade agreement in place since 1998 and ETCA seeks its expansion to investment and service sectors along with deepening trade relations in goods.

(ANI with inputs).

Source: ANI