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* Pakistan and Sri Lanka agree to negotiate trade agreements in August
Wed, Jul 6, 2011, 11:57 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

July 06, Islamabad: At the conclusion of the 10th session of Pakistan-Sri Lanka Joint Economic Commission on Tuesday the two countries have agreed hold Free Trade Agreement (FTA) review meeting and Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) negotiations in August 2011 in Colombo.

The two sides also have agreed to discuss in detail the matters relating to trade at the FTA review in Colombo.

Sri Lanka Minister for Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen led an eleven-member delegation to the 10th session of Pakistan-Sri Lanka Joint Economic Commission held in Islamabad July 4-5, 2011.

Pakistani Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Finance, and Economic Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar represented her country at the session.

During the Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting, the two sides have held discussions on various economic and technical fields and agreed on number of things.

Among them was the agreement to encourage regular exchange of trade delegations at least one from each side in a year.

The two sides have agreed to encourage their businessmen for participation in exhibitions in each other's country and also agreed to revisit their visa policy to make the procedure easy for businessmen and nationals of each other's country.

Both the delegations acknowledged relations between the two countries that are based on shared understanding on a wide range of regional and international issues.

During the meeting it was agreed that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Ministry of Finance will communicate with concerned authorities in Sri Lanka to propose providing necessary details regarding supplier credit of $200 million offered by SBP to Sri Lanka.

Both sides have agreed to constitute the Joint Committee for Cooperation in science and technology.

Addressing a press conference following the session, the Pakistani Minister has said that JEC has decided to cooperate in the fields of handicrafts, gems and jewellery. Sri Lanka has requested assistance for training in those fields while Pakistan has requested Sri Lanka to provide courses in nursing.

Minister Bathiudeen has said the 10th JEC meeting was very successful as both sides have agreed to cooperate in various sectors of economy.

The two sides have also agreed to hold next meeting of the Joint Economic Commission in 2012 in Colombo.

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