Asian Tribune - Tue, 2008-04-15
Pakistan and Sri Lanka to expand the scope of free trade agreement
By Walter Jayawardhana
Following the successful talks between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Pakistani President Pervez Mushrraff in China the bilateral trade between the two South Asia countries will be greatly expanded, Pakistani officials said.
The two presidents met with their respective Foreign and Trade Ministers in high level talk on the sidelines of Boao Forum in the Southernmost Chinese city of Hainan last week.
After the People’s Republic of China Sri Lanka is the second country with which Pakistan has signed a Free Trade Agreement.
The two countries have already decided to expand the scope of the Free Trade Agreement to areas not covered so far.
The trade agreement has opened central Asian countries adjacent to Pakistan to new Sri Lankan exports.
The bilateral talks between the two Presidents have elevated the trade between the countries to the highest level, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told correspondents in Hainan.
Bogollagama said Sri lanka wanted to see Pakistan back in the Commonwealth very soon.
The minister in his comment on Free Trade Agreement said the two countries had Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and they desired to further enhance their cooperation in economic terms.