Islamabad: Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister for Industries and Commerce of Sri Lanka on Wednesday said his country aims to boost economic, trade and commercial ties with a genuine friend like Pakistan.
He said that Sri Lanka is Pakistan’s biggest trading partner in SAARC outside India and we share common perceptions on many regional and global issues.
Speaking to business community at FPCCI, Capital Office, Bathiudeen said that the current bilateral trade volume stands at $338 million which can be increased with the help of private sector.
He said that balance of trade has always been in favour of Pakistan which is contributing to economic development of a brotherly country.
Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Pakistan Jayalath Weerakkody, Raza Khan, Chairman Coordination, FPCCI, Hameed Akhtar Chadda, VP, ICCI, Tauseef Zaman, Shahid ur Rehman, government officials as well as businessmen of both countries were also present on the occasion.
The minister said both governments have agreed to provide enhanced opportunities to the private sector to interact to benefit from untapped potential.
Plans to cement links and other steps to further encourage Pakistani investors are on the cards, he added.
The Lankan Commerce Minister invited Pakistani investors to his country saying that strong post-war growth potential is an opportunity for everyone.
Pakistanis can get trade concession in all the countries and groupings of which Sri Lanka is a signatory, he informed. He said we urgently need fifty thousand head of cattle from Pakistan.
At the occasion, Raza Khan said that 8.1 per cent growth, per capita GDP hike to $2400 and economic freedom standing at 57.1proves that investors have trust in policies of Sri Lankan government.
He said that decision to allow 100 per cent owner ship to foreign investors without needing a local partner will attract heavy investments in geo-strategic placed country.
Visit of Rishad Bathiudeen will prove a significant milestone in the history of both countries and will go a long way in fastening the ties, said Raza Khan.
He thanked the minister for inviting FPCCI delegation and assured participation in international exhibition and business forum “Expo2012,” scheduled March 2012.
For more information, contact:
Muhammad Raza Khan
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
Tel: +9251 2251 891-3; +9251 4434200-5
Fax: +9251 2251 894; +9251 514434203