The Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India is among the bilateral trade agreements to be reviewed by the government to decide on the next step, a Minister said yesterday.
Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardane has sought Cabinet approval to review all the trade agreements, which Sri Lanka has already signed or to be signed and decide on further action.
The ETCA is an agreement initiated by the previous government to increase trade and investment portfolio with India.the two sides held several rounds of bilateral talks both in Colombo and New Delhi. However, the agreement could not be concluded.
Mr. Gunawardane told Daily Mirror that he submitted a Cabinet paper seeking approval to review all the Free Trade Agreements Sri Lanka had signed or proposed to be signed. “The ETCA is also included in the list,” he said.
An FTA with India has been in operation since March, 2000. The ETCA is meant to improve on it. Besides, Sri Lanka has already launched negotiations on a trade agreement with China.
Commenting on the FTA signed with Singapore under the previous government, he said it would be reviewed taking into account the changes proposed by a committee that looked into it previously. (KELUM BANDARA)