An agreement will be signed between India and Sri Lanka on Customs cooperation, to resolve all matters related to delays in clearances, Indian Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said here on Saturday.
The issue of delay in customs clearances came up in the meeting between Mr. Sharma and Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris on Friday. “We are sending a draft agreement [to Sri Lanka]. Once a response is received we will take it forward and have an agreement in place,” he told, at India House here.
Officials on both sides will work on the “simplification and facilitation of trade,” he said and added that the issues of simplification of process on grant of visas on the part of India, was also raised. The issue will be considered, and appropriate decisions will be taken.
After a one hour and fifteen minute meeting with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Minister said, the President was “on the same page.” Economic engagement as far as India was concerned, it was a comprehensive one and the issue of CEPA was not raised by him, “neither did it come up,” he said.
Mr. Sharma said that he had mentioned that the engagement at the level of Commerce Secretaries will be an “ongoing” one aimed at resolving all issues related to the Free Trade Agreement. “He mentioned to me that he was looking forward to visit India soon. I told him that I will convey this to the Prime Minister,” he said.