Sitharaman, who is in the country on a three-day visit, started her day by visiting the main Hindu Temple in the multi-ethnic city to pay homage to it before opening a branch of the State Bank of India in Trincomalee.
Senthil Thondaman, the Governor of Eastern Province, Gopal Baglay, India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, and Chairman SBI Dinesh Khara were also present at the inauguration.
After inaugurating the branch, Sitharaman appreciated that SBI, with its 159 years of significant presence, is the oldest bank in Sri Lanka and continues to grow its business at home and abroad.
During the Sri Lankan economic crisis, SBI’s presence in Sri Lanka paved the way for a smooth extension of the Line of Credit worth $1 billion by India to Sri Lanka.
Besides, SBI Sri Lanka continues to play a vital role by supporting corporates in international trade.
The SBI in Sri Lanka continues to scale up remittance through a robust digital platform via the SBI Sri Lanka Yono app and online banking, in addition to the in-branch operations.
Sitharaman later visited the Lanka Indian Oil Company complex in the port city.
As Sitharaman visited the country, the two nations also held the 12th round of the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), which had been stalled since 2018.
The talks, from October 30 to November 1, commenced following the visit by Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe to Delhi in late July.
Both Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had agreed to enhance bilateral trade and investment.
The 12th round covered goods, services, rules of origin, trade remedies, customs procedures and trade facilitation, technical barriers to trade and a range of topics, a press release said.
The 19-member Indian official delegation was led by Anant Swarup, the chief negotiator and the joint secretary of the Department of Commerce and Industry of India.