Pakistan, Sri Lanka pledge to achieve $ 1 bln bilateral trade &
broadening FTA

COLOMBO/ISLAMABAD, (MANEND NEWS): Pakistan and Sri Lanka have
pledged to realize the goal of achieving one billion dollars bilateral
trade target and also agreed to work towards broadening and
deepening of Pakistan Sri Lank Free Trade Agreement.
According to the Join Communiqué issued by Foreign Office
Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri on Wednesday, at the invitation
of the Prime Minister of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka,
Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Prime Minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan,
Imran Khan paid a two-day official visit to Sri Lanka on 23-24
February 2021.
Prime Minister Imran Khan was accompanied by a high-level
delegation, comprising Federal Ministers and senior Government
officials. This was the first visit by the Prime Minister of Pakistan to Sri
Lanka since the formation of the new governments in both the
countries, clearly reflecting the warmth and goodwill between the
governments and peoples of the two countries. Prime Minister Imran
Khan received a warm ceremonial welcome by the Prime Minister and
the Cabinet of Ministers of Sri Lanka.
During the visit, Prime Minister Imran Khan held delegation-level
meetings with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister
Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka. Both sides comprehensively reviewed
the multifaceted bilateral relationship in diverse fields of cooperation.
The talks were held in a warm and cordial atmosphere, marked by
mutual trust and respect. The visit afforded a timely opportunity to
both sides to further build upon their close and regular consultations,

particularly in the areas identified during the recently held Foreign
Secretary-level Bilateral Political Consultations, Joint Economic
Commission session, and the Commerce Secretaries-level Talks.
Both sides reached broad consensus on ways and means to further
strengthen cooperation in a comprehensive manner and agreed to hold
frequent meetings; promote high-level and delegation-level
exchanges; and enhance the process of consultations, cooperation and
coordination between their respective institutions. Prime Minister
Imran Khan reiterated Pakistan’s support for the socio-economic
development of Sri Lanka in line with the vision of a “peaceful
The two sides reviewed the extensive engagement that exists between
the two countries in promoting cultural linkages, human resource
development, and capacity building in diverse areas as well as
educational and technical cooperation. The Pakistan side announced
100 scholarships in the field of medicines (MBBS and BDS) as part of
the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Higher Education Cooperation Programme
(PSLHECP). The Sri Lankan side appreciated the cooperation being
extended by Pakistan in human resource development and capacity
While realizing the existence of great potential of religious tourism to
Buddhist archeological sites and noting the close ancient and cultural
ties dating back to Gandhara civilization, the two sides underscored
the importance of enhancing cooperation in the field of tourism and
highlighted the benefits of sharing expertise in the hospitality industry,
including training and capacity building. The Pakistan side announced
its initiative of establishing Asian Civilization and Culture Centre at
University of Peradeniya, Kandy. Both sides recognized the importance
of enhancing air connectivity to promote people-to-people contact,
tourism, trade and culture.
In order to explore new avenues for enhancing bilateral trade and
investment between the two countries, a high-level Pakistan-Sri Lanka
Trade and Investment Conference was held on 24 February 2021. The
Conference provided an opportunity for effective and meaningful
engagement between the business communities of the two countries.
At the conference, both Pakistan and Sri Lanka sides reiterated the
importance of strengthening economic relations in key areas of mutual
interest and diversifying trade and investment between the two
countries. The two sides stressed the importance of realizing the goal
of achieving US$ 1 billion bilateral trade target and also agreed to

work towards broadening and deepening of Pakistan Sri Lank Free
Trade Agreement.
During the visit, the following MoUs between Pakistan and Sri Lanka
were signed:
i. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Government of
the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Government of
the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on Cooperation in Tourism
ii. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation between the
Board of Investment of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
and the Board of Investment of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
iii. Memorandum of Understanding between Industrial Technology
Institute (ITI), the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and
International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of
Karachi Islamic Republic of Pakistan
iv. Intent Cooperation between Industrial Technology institute of Sri
Lanka and COMSATS University Islamabad
v. Memorandum of Understanding between University of Colombo, Sri
Lanka and Lahore School of Economics, Pakistan
Prime Minister Imran Khan and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa
jointly acknowledged the reconstitution of the Sri Lanka-Pakistan
Parliamentary Friendship Association. Both sides underscored the need
to strengthen parliamentary cooperation between the two sides.
Both sides expressed satisfaction at the existing bilateral cooperation
in the field of defence and noted that the elevation of staff-level talks
to Defence Dialogue has further provided an opportunity to expand
security sector relations. Prime Minister Imran Khan announced a new
$50 million defence credit line facility. The two sides stressed the
need for stronger partnership for supporting and coordinating with
each other in dealing with matters related to security, terrorism,
organized crime and drug and narcotic trafficking as well as
Prime Minister Imran Khan in his efforts to strengthen sports
diplomacy participated at an interactive session with the sports
community of Sri Lanka on 24 February 2021. At this event, Sri
Lanka’s Minister of Sports and Youth Namal Rajapaksa, in the presence

of the Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane, announced the
commissioning of the “Imran Khan High Performance Sports Centre” in
The Pakistan side announced its decision to provide PKR 52 million for
promotion of sports in Sri Lanka, including through training and
Both sides underlined the importance of inter-religious dialogue and
harmony as a key to promote cultural diversity, peaceful co-existence
and mutual empathy.
The two sides noted the close cooperation between the two countries
at regional and international fora on issues of mutual interest, and
agreed to further strengthen a coordinated approach on such matters.
Both sides reiterated their commitment to the principles and objectives
of the SAARC Charter and stressed the need of SAARC Member
countries to build on convergences, for greater good of the people in
the region. Both sides stressed the need to convene the Charter Based
bodies and agreed to take forward the SAARC process for further
strengthening regional cooperation to achieve prosperity in the region.
Discussing the developments in regional and global environment the
two sides reaffirmed their joint commitment to regional peace, security
and stability. Prime Minister Imran Khan underscored the need for
peaceful resolution of outstanding disputes through constructive
dialogue in accordance with international legitimacy.
In the context of regional connectivity, Prime Minister Imran Khan
highlighted the opportunities presented by China-Pakistan Economic
Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of BRI, for regional economic
growth and prosperity.
Discussing the unprecedented challenges posed by Covid – 19, the two
sides underscored the need for collective efforts to deal with the
pandemic. Sri Lanka thanked Pakistan for the tremendous assistance
extended to the repatriation of stranded Sri Lankans in Pakistan since
the outbreak of the Covid pandemic.
While reiterating the commitment of the new government to further
strengthen the bilateral relations, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka thanked
the government, and people of Pakistan for the constant support

extended by Pakistan to safeguard the independence, sovereignty and
territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan extended an invitation to the President
and the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka to visit Pakistan at their earliest
Prime Minister Imran Khan thanked Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa
for the warm hospitality extended to him and his delegation.

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