India’s Minister of State for Commerce, Nirmala Sithraman, will be visiting Sri Lanka at the end of August on an invitation extended by Malik Samarawickrama, the Sri Lankan Minister of International Trade, it is reliably learnt.
But officials clarified that the visit would have nothing to do with the on-going negotiations between India and Sri Lanka on an Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), the New Indian Express reported.
The first ever technical or official level meeting on ETCA was held in Colombo on Tuesday and Wednesday. The head of the Indian delegation was Bhupinde Singh Bhalla, Joint Secretary in the Commerce Ministry.
No press statement was issued after the conclusion of the two-day talks as these were preliminary and exploratory, an official told Express.
“The two sides exchanged views on the various issues connected with such an agreement. Many more such meetings will have to be held before an agreement is reached,” the official said. (Colombo Gazette)