India to parlay with Sri Lanka’s finance and economic ministry on trade

Jan 22, 2013 (LBO) – India will begin talks with Sri Lanka’s finance and economic ministry to develop “a framework for a special economic partnership” a joint statement released after a meeting between delegations headed by foreign ministers of the two countries said. “[T]he two sides decided to take several steps to further deepen trade, tourism and investment relations,” the joint statement said.

“In this regard, it was agreed to encourage closer economic and trade linkages between all stakeholders with a view to doubling bilateral trade to 10 billion US dollars in the next three years.

The two countries will “initiate a dialogue between the Commerce Secretary of India and the Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development of Sri Lanka at an early date” the statement said.

Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa is finance minister and his brother Basil is the economic development minister and finance secretary P B Jayasundera is Sri Lanka’s most senior official in charge of economic policy.

A Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) hammered out between the middle of the last decade had been stymied following opposition from nationalist businesses in the island nation.

India has since signed CEPAs with a number o