The Government is to sign new deals with several countries including the proposed Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament today.
He said that the Government is in talks with the US, China, India, Pakistan, Singapore and a few other countries to sign new trade and partnership agreements.
The Prime Minister also said that despite some objections raised locally, the Government will look to sign the Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India by the middle of this year.
He said the previous Government had talks with India on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India.
However he said the new government will sign an Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement with India instead of CEPA.
Wickremesinghe said the agreement will be signed by the middle of this year and before that the draft agreement will be presented to Parliament.
He said that an Indian delegation is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka next month to discuss the deal after which a draft will be prepared.
Wickremesinghe also said that his Government is to sign a new trade deal with China. He said that one aspect of the deal is to setup a ship repair yard in the country.
The ship repair yard is expected to be setup in Hambantota where a port has been constructed with Chinese assistance.
The Prime Minister said the trade and partnership agreements are essential for Sri Lanka and will help strengthen Sri Lanka’s ties with those countries. (Colombo Gazette)