Sri Lanka and Pakistan to tie the FTA knot by end December?

The free trade agreement with Pakistan is likely to be finalised by end of December, said the Treasury Secretary on Monday. The free trade agreement with Pakistan is likely to be finalised by end of December, said the Treasury Secretary on Monday. “Hopefully over the next two weeks we can finalise the FTA with Pakistan,” said Treasury Secretary, P B Jayasundara, on Monday.

Although the agreement for an FTA with Pakistan was signed in August 2002, the two countries have not been able to agree on how to get it going, despite numerous rounds of talks.

However a trade team from Pakistan is expected in Colombo this week to push for an agreement, if only to open up trade for a limited number of items.

The two countries will also discuss how the initial agreement on goods can be expanded to cover services, as in the case of the FTA with India.

“We have realised the need to incorporate services since services is a fast emerging sector in Sri Lanka. So the FTA with Pakistan will extend to services as well,” said Jayasundara.

Talks this week will try to wrap up an agreement that can be kick started by the