Sri Lanka has clinched continued support for its international trade work from the Commonwealth.
Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen is representing Sri Lanka at the inaugural Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting (CTMM) that opened in London on 9th March. Sri Lanka’s Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama and many other Trade Ministers from the Commonwealth joined the meeting.
“I am pleased that talks with the Rt. Hon Patricia Scotland, Secretary-General of Commonwealth on March 9th in London were successful. We are set to receive continued positive support from the Commonwealth to our international trade work as a result”, the minister said and added: “Sri Lanka’s historic relations with the Commonwealth stands further enhanced with this pioneering London event. Especially the “Agenda for Growth” idea to promote trade, investment and job creation in member countries such as Sri Lanka shall help our unity government’s reform vision of industry and commerce.”
Minister Bathiudeen meeting with Secretary-General Patricia Scotland discussed the progress of Commonwealth’s projects with Sri Lanka. The Secretary-General thanked Sri Lanka for their contribution to the Commonwealth Trade Finance Facility and discussed ongoing projects where the Secretariat is providing technical assistance. These include support with free trade agreement negotiations, designing an export diversification strategy and helping to set up an export/import bank.
The CTMM took place at Lancaster House in London on 9th and 10th March in advance of the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in the UK, with many Trade Ministers across the C’Wealth joining the event. The objective of CTMM is to reaffirm the commitment of Commonwealth member countries to a “transparent free and fair multilateral trading system,” and to define an ambitious Commonwealth led “Agenda for Growth” to promote trade, investment and job creation in member countries. This will support the target of increasing intra-Commonwealth trade to USD one trillion by 2020. The recommendation to hold the March 9-10 meeting was an outcome of the Commonwealth Business Forum in Malta in November 2015.