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Commerce and Industry Minister, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman visited Sri Lanka and Canada

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The Commerce and Industry Minister, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman visited Sri Lanka and Canada with the objective of enhancing and deepening bilateral trade and investment relations.

Sri Lanka Visit  – September 26 and 27, 2016

The Commerce and Industry Minister also had a bilateral meeting with a high level Sri Lankan delegation led by Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade of Sri Lanka.

  • The Sri Lankan delegation also included other Sri Lankan Ministers namely Mr Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Mr Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Mr Sujeewa Senasinghe, State Minister of International Trade, Mr Ajith P. Perera, Deputy Minister for Power and Renewable Energy and Ms Anoma Gamage, Deputy Minister of Petroleum Resources Development.
  • During the visit, a meeting of the India-Sri Lanka Business Forum was held which was attended by the Commerce and Industry Minister and Mr Malik Samarawickrama, Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade of Sri Lanka. Many issues relating to trade, services and investment were highlighted and it was agreed that their resolution be explored.
  • The visit comes ahead of the meeting scheduled at New Delhi later this week to further discuss the agreement.
  • Both sides have begun negotiations on the draft agreement and first round of talks were held in Colombo last month.
  • Both countries have signed a free trade agreement in 1998 and ETCA seeks its expansion to investment and service sectors along with deepening trade relations in goods 

India’s Investment :

India will invest up to $2 billion in Sri Lanka over the next four years in a range of sectors including real estate, energy and infrastructure.

  • It is noted that India is Sri Lanka’s largest trading partner and the South Asian neighbors are considering a broader trade agreement as President Maithripala Sirisena’s government tilts towards New Delhi after his predecessor pursued a pro-China policy.
  • Ms. Sitharaman during her visit to Sri Lanka for talks on the Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), called on Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and later met senior Ministers to discuss the terms of the agreement. Nirmala Sitharaman

Sri Lanka :

  • Capitals: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, Colombo
  • Currency: Sri Lankan rupee
  • President: Maithripala Sirisena
  •  Prime minister: Ranil Wickremesinghe

Canada Visit – September 29 and 30 2016

Commerce and Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman was attended 3rd Annual Ministerial Dialogue held on 29th September 2016 at Toronto, Canada.

High level Dialogue in Canada,

A high level delegation led by Commerce and Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman attended 3rd Annual Ministerial Dialogue scheduled at Toronto, Canada.Both India and Canada have realised that there is enormous scope for enhancing bilateral trade.

  • It is noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his bilateral visit to Canadain April 2015, stressed on the importance of bilateral business and commercial linkages as key drivers of India-Canada

Considering the potential and given the fact that bilateraltrade between both the countries has grown at a decent pace, the trade ministers of both countries discussed the following major issues:-

  • Exploring ways of expeditious early conclusion of FIFA and CEPA.
  • Exploring options for Indian interest in addressing the Temporary Foreign Workers Programmes (TWEP) of Canada which is affecting the Indian IT Industry; address equivalance by Canadian Food Inspection Agency for Indian organic product exports; and exploring investment opportunities in different sectors of India.
  • In addition, both leaders are expected to discuss regarding recent commercial achievements between both countries, bilateral FDI flows, issues relating to intellectual property, etc in addition to other issues relating to trade and investment.
  • Nirmala Sitharaman is also scheduled to meet top business leaders of Canada to discuss the various reforms undertaken in India and prospects for investment in various sectors.

Canada :

  • Capital: Ottawa
  •  Currency: Canadian dollar
  • Prime minister: Justin Trudeau