PAK-SRI LANKA TRADE RELATIONS

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Oct 15 - 21, 20
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Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry's President Muhammad Haroon Agar has urged to effectively apply Pak-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement and enhance bilateral trade aligned with existing trading potential.

Speaking with the Sri Lankan Business Delegation headed by Consul General D.W. Jinadasa at KCCI he also proposed to form Joint Chamber with KCCI's Sri Lankan counterpart. He stated that to further explore bilateral trade prospects; there is need for frequent exchange of delegations and data based information on trade and markets and holding of single country exhibitions. He also highlighted the importance of regional trade particularly between SAARC countries. He also extended invitation to Sri Lankan Companies through the Consul General of Sri Lanka to participate in the 10th International "My-Karachi, Oasis of Harmony Exhibition" scheduled to be held in July 2013. He also apprised about Karachi Chamber's vital role in the socio-economic development of Pakistan and to promote trade and industry in Karachi and elsewhere. He on behalf of KCCI also assured best cooperation and support to fortify bilateral trade and relations between Sri Lankaand Pakistan.

Consul General of Sri Lanka D.W. Jinadasa recognized the vibrant role of Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry for promotion of commercial and industrial activities. He stated that despite of some negative depiction of Pakistan's image in the media abroad, the Sri Lankan businesspersons keenly participated in the Expo Pakistan 2012. He apprised that Sri Lankan business delegation received productive response from Pakistani counterparts and they had various meetings to materialize their prospective business. He agreed that Pak-Sri Lanka trade volume was not aligned with available trading potential, therefore, promotion of economic and commercial activities is essential. Trade between two countries was in progress under FTA and SAFTA arrangements, he added. He informed thatIndia is largest trading and investment partner of Sri Lanka and current volume of trade with India crossed $4 Billion. Likewise, he said Sri Lanka attaches high importance to trade with Pakistan and in this regard there was a dire need to connect the business communities of two countries and explore new business opportunities. He informed that last year only two flights were operating between Karachi and Colombo while this year one flight was operating daily. He informed that Sri Lanka has a liberal investment policy Pakistani businesspersons can open companies in Sri Lanka under approved regular framework for investment and operation their business independently of with Sri Lankan partners. Major exports to Pakistan are rubber, auto parts, tyres, nuts, spices and electrical gadgets while imports are textiles products, surgical & sports goods, steel pipes and cement. He also urged for diversity in both import and export items.

Former President KCCI Majyd Aziz informed that during his tenure as President, KCCI took lead to organize joint meeting of representatives of both countries to provide input on Pak-Sri Lanka FTA. He proposed that KCCI along with some other leading Chambers of Pakistan should play their thriving role on bilateral issues between two countries so that things should happen on fast track.

Senior Vice President KCCI Shamim Firpo, Vice President Nasir Mehmood and Managing Committee Members also participated in the meeting. Malani Baddegainase, Acting Director, Sri Lanka Export Development Board and representatives of Sri Lankan companies also participated in the meeting.