ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister, Imran Khan is likely to undertake an official visit to Sri Lanka during late next month or early March 2021, wherein different bilateral issues will come under discussion, well informed sources told Business Recorder.

In this regard, Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a meeting of the line Ministries to prepare agenda for the forthcoming visit of Prime Minister. The meeting presided over by Secretary Foreign Affairs, Sohail Mahmood was also attended Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka.

The officials of relevant Ministries including Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Defence Production and Ministry of Industries and Production attended the meeting and gave their inputs on the bilateral relations with Sri Lanka.

The sources said, almost 20 pacts between the two countries awaiting approval of both governments. The participants were of the view that the pacts in pipeline need to be expedited and signed during the forthcoming visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

During the meeting, all the concerned Ministries were directed to send their valuable inputs and proposals as soon as possible to consolidate the agenda for the visit of the Prime Minister.

Sources in Commerce Ministry said that during the 6th Commerce Secretary level talks, Sri Lankan side had indicated the need for restoring the imbalance created due to unilateral inclusion of some auto sector items back to Pakistan negative list in 2007. In this regard, as agreed in the Joint Working Group in 2014, Sri Lanka also requested that further preference of 73 other tariff lines may be provided to compensate for the tariff lines from the auto sector earlier removed from the concession list.

The sources said, both sides will enhance cooperation in trade, investment and defence cooperation. —MUSHTAQ GHUMMAN