Minister of Development Strategies & International Trade Malik Samarawickrama visited New Delhi from July 4-5, 2016 on the invitation of the Minister of Commerce and Industry of India Nirmala Sitharaman. He also held consultations with Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha. In addition, he met a representative group of CEOs of leading Indian companies.
Ministers Sitharaman and Samarawickrama discussed how trade between the two countries could be increased and become more balanced for Sri Lanka, including through bilateral arrangements for trade, investment, technology and training. They also requested the respective officials of the two countries to continue negotiations on the proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) expeditiously, for which purpose a delegation from India will be visiting Sri Lanka towards the end of July. As a means of promoting trade and investment in Sri Lanka, keeping in view of the spirit of excellent cooperation between the two countries, the two Ministers agreed to negotiate early harvest measures to coincide with the signing of the ETCA. They also agreed to convene the reconstituted Sri Lanka – India CEOs forum at an early date. Minister Samarawickrama invited Minister Sitharaman also to visit Sri Lanka. Minister Sitharaman accepted the invitation.
Other areas addressed during Minister Samarawickrama’s visit included the development of the Railways; the Tank Farm in Trincomalee; Clean Energy, including LNG and Renewables and exploration for Oil and Gas.
Minister Samarawickrama met leading Indian entrepreneurs at two events hosted respectively by Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar on the 4th of July and the Confederation of Indian Industry on the 5th of July. At these interactions he encouraged Indian investors to participate in Sri Lanka’s development through the establishment and management of Industrial Zones. Minister Samarawickrama also highlighted investment opportunities which are becoming available in the Western Region Mega Polis Plan, including the Port City Project; and the Area Development Programs for Trincomalee, Wayamba, Kandy and Hambantantota.Â
High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in India Esala Weerakoon and the Managing Director of the Agency for Development of the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade Mangala P. B. Yapa were associated with Minister Samarawickrama during the talks.
High Commission of Sri Lanka
New Delhi, 05 July 2016