Islamabad: The 7th Session of Commerce Secretaries Level Talks, hosted by Pakistan,  in Islamabad between the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan where the delegates from both sides engaged in productive and meaningful discussions on  strengthening trade ties and resolving issues impeding trade. Prospects of enhancing trade through mutual cooperation and facilitation were also discussed.

From Pakistan’s side the delegation was led by Dr. Muhammad Sohail Rajput, Special Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, while Ms. J.M. Bhadranie Jayawardhana, Secretary, Ministry of Trade steered the Srilankan side. The heads of the two delegations emphasized on the need to use this forum to further strengthen the existing bilateral trade and investment linkages between the two countries and they also expressed their commitment to enhance trade relations by removing various impediments. Both sides also agreed to reactivate the forum of Joint Working Groups (JWGs) for redressal of technical issues pending between the two trading partners. It was decided to conduct the next JWG meeting during the first half of 2021. Both sides further agreed to enhance cooperation in trade related matters so that the true potential of the Free Trade Agreement could be effectively exploited.

The Secretaries of the two sides agreed to the text of Memorandum of  Understanding in the field of investment and resolved that it will usher new avenues of bilateral investment. The meeting concluded with the commitment to expand and cement bilateral relationship between the two countries. The Sri Lankan side acknowledged that Pakistan has been a long standing trading partner a closer ally and shared that Sri Lanka is eagerly looking forward to the upcoming visit of the Prime Minister of Pakistan to Colombo.