Islamabad: High Commissioner of the Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka Jayalath Weerakkody on Tuesday said business community of Pakistan can play an important role in containing terror as it is also linked to the overall economic situation.
He said his country has faced sectarianism and terrorism for decades and we can share expertise with Pakistan to help combat terror. “My country is ready to do anything to ensure stability in Pakistan.”
He was talking to a delegation of FPCCI that included SVC Diplomatic Affairs FPCCI Kanwar Qutubuddin, Chairman Media and PR, FPCCI Malik Sohail, President Women’s Chamber Samina Fazil, Adnan Mirza and leading exporter Kulsoom Khan.
Air Chief Marshal (retd) Jayalath Weerakkody RWP, VSV, USP informed that a delegation led by a Cabinet Minister is due in Islamabad soon to hold a Joint Economic Commission meeting with local authorities.
He said that trade between two countries have picked up after visit of President Asif Ali Zardari, however he said that Pakistan businessmen are more focused on trade and not inclined towards manufacturing.
The High Commissioner said that some Pakistani companies have expressed interest in setting up cement, steel and sugar manufacturing facilities and that investors in tourism and sugar cultivation sectors can get matchless deal as we plan to multiply production by 500 per cent in minimum possible time.
He said that middlemen are hindering the trade potential between the two countries that must be tackled.
“Sri Lankan Airlines is operating five flights per calendar week while it has planned to operate three additional flights from Lahore which will boost our presence in the brotherly country,” he informed.
Jayalath Weerakkody said that Pakistan figures prominently in Sri Lankan foreign policy as it is considered one of the most important countries in the world.
The two brotherly countries are time-tested friends and we look forward to a much closer cooperation in all the fields including trade, commerce, culture, education and tourism, the High Commissioner said.
Pakistan is showing impressive results on export side and Sri Lanka is preparing boost its investment in Pakistan; he said adding that the two countries should take maximum benefit of free trade arrangement.
Assuring help to introduce more Pakistani products in his country, he said that Pakistani products are very popular in the Sri Lankan markets due to their quality, packaging and pricing.
He asked the people to stand by the armed forces and support the government, as both needed public support to bring normalcy back. He said that Pakistan have one of the best armed forces backed by best intelligence services which can cope with any problem.
Responding to a question by Malik Sohail, he said people of Pakistan were friendly and caring and he would like to stay here for long time.
Sohail said that Pakistan and Sri Lanka have strong ties and common perceptions but the trade volume is too small that calls for solid steps by both the nations.
Malik Sohail told the envoy that national business leaders Tariq Sayeed, Iftikhar Ali Malik and Ghulam Ali have been working on matters that will ensure bilateral trade volume reflect to true potential.
He also demanded expansion of Embassy and appointment of Commercial Counsellors to which the High Commissioner agreed.
Malik Sohail demanded the government to benefit from the experience of Sri Lanka which is providing free education from elementary level to the highest level.
The FPCCI official said that many businessmen are using Indian business concerns for trade with Sri Lanka which is not in the interest of the both brotherly countries.
For more information, contact:
Malik Sohail Hussain
Chairman FPCCI Standing
Committee on Media and PR
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
Tel: +9251 2251 891-3
Fax: +9251 2251 894
Cell: +92333 5155300; +92321 5155500