Indian Minister arrives to expand bilateral trade relations

The Union Minister will also call on Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.The proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) between the countries is likely to figure prominently during her discussions with Sri Lankan leadership. It is a reciprocal visit coming after Sri Lankan minister visit to India in July where several issues of economic cooperation between the two countries were discussed. During her three-day visit, she will be meeting with her counterpart in Sri Lankan government Malick Samarwickrama who is the Minister for Development strategies and International trade. Indian Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman arrived in Sri Lanka today in a bid to expand bilateral trade relations between the two countries, the ANI news service reported.She was accompanied by senior ministry officials along with a business delegation. The visit comes ahead of the meeting scheduled at New Delhi later this week to further discuss the agreement.Both sides have begun negotiations on the draft agreement and first round of talks were held in Colombo last month.Both countries have signed a free trade agreement in 1998 and ETCA seeks its expansion to investment and service sectors along with deepening trade relations in goods. (Colombo Gazette)