Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma arrived in Colombo yesterday for a 3 day official visit.
He will be meeting his counterpart Rishad Bathiudeen to discuss ways to widen the free trade agreement in goods and expanding it to include services and investments. He would also be attending the India Show.
Mr. Sharma is also scheduled to meet Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa who stated that Mr. Sharma’s visit would set the tone for doubling the bilateral trade to $9 billion by 2017 and also move forward the dialogue process for early conclusion of CEPA.
Sri Lanka has been asking India to be a “little large hearted” on outstanding issues in the Free Trade Regime, while India has been wanting to go to the next level, and progress on CEPA.
Sri Lanka wants to first address issues in FTA ahead of taking up CEPA, which has been in the making for more than half-a-decade now. A formal meeting will be held during the course of Mr. Sharma’s four-day stay here.