Sri Lanka and India to sign a new trade agreement in 2016

PM-INDIA

Sep 15, 2015 (LBO) – Prime Ministers of India and Sri Lanka on Tuesday pledged to strengthen rapid economic development in both countries through a new agreement based on trade, economy, investment and technology.

The statement issued by the Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s office said the draft agreement will be prepared in December this year based on trade talks on the agreement and the signing will take place in mid-2016.

“The two prime ministers agreed to formulate a new agreement that focuses on trade, economy, investment, and technology,” the statement said.

Both country’s era of trade and economic relations stretches beyond 2,500 years as highlighted in the legend of two traders, Tapassu and Bhallūka, it said. An economic partnership agreement has been discussed for several years, but this has been opposed by some in the island.

During the talks on Tuesday, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached an understanding on the need for a geostationary satellite for SAARC countries that India will launch. Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera was present for the signing of this agreement.

Three agreements on small development projects with Indian aid, and the provision of medical equipment and ambulance services were also signed during the meeting.

India will supply medical equipment to a 200-bed ward in Sri Lanka’s Vavuniya district hospital, and help in setting up an ambulance service in the island.