During her three-day visit to Sri Lanka, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated a new branch of the State Bank of India (SBI) in Trincomalee and engaged in crucial discussions with her Sri Lankan counterparts as part of the 12th round of the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA).
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s visit to Sri Lanka, marked by the opening of a State Bank of India branch in Trincomalee and the resumption of the 12th round of Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) talks, reflects the commitment of both nations to strengthen economic ties and enhance cooperation. These endeavors underscore the importance of fostering collaboration in the region for mutual growth and development.
Strengthening Economic Ties with Sri Lanka
Opening of SBI Branch
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman commenced her visit by paying homage at the main Hindu Temple in Trincomalee, underscoring the multi-ethnic and diverse cultural fabric of the region. She then inaugurated a branch of the State Bank of India (SBI) in Trincomalee. The event was attended by Senthil Thondaman, the Governor of Eastern Province, Gopal Baglay, India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, and Chairman of SBI, Dinesh Khara.
Sitharaman acknowledged the pivotal role of SBI in supporting corporates engaged in international trade. With 159 years of significant presence in Sri Lanka, SBI continues to expand its operations both locally and internationally.
Notably, during the recent economic crisis in Sri Lanka, SBI’s presence facilitated the extension of a USD 1 billion Line of Credit by India to Sri Lanka.
SBI Sri Lanka has been actively involved in international trade by providing support to corporations. The bank offers remittance services through a robust digital platform, including the SBI Sri Lanka YONO app and online banking, in addition to traditional in-branch operations.
Talks on the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA)
Alongside her visit, India and Sri Lanka held the 12th round of discussions related to the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), a significant bilateral agreement that had previously stalled since 2018.
This round of talks covered a wide array of topics, including goods, services, rules of origin, trade remedies, customs procedures, trade facilitation, technical barriers to trade, and various other aspects of economic and technological cooperation between the two nations.
The Indian delegation, consisting of 19 members, was led by Anant Swarup, the chief negotiator and joint secretary of the Department of Commerce and Industry of India.
Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
- State Bank of India Chairperson: Dinesh Kumar Khara;
- State Bank of India Founded: 1 July 1955;
- State Bank of India Headquarters: Mumbai.