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India to parlay with Sri Lanka's finance and economic ministry on trade
22 Jan, 2013 18:56:38
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 of other countries.

The eight meeting of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission was held on January 22, 2013 in New Delhi co co-chaired by Shri Salman Khurshid, India's external affairs minister and Sri Lanka's foreign minister G L Peiris.

Sri Lanka and India would also initiate talks on revising an air services agreement and a joint committee will meet on re-starting a ferry services between Talaimannar in the northeast of Sri Lanka and Rameswaran in India.

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