Published On: Sun, Jan 23rd, 2022
Published in Category: Karachi

Visiting Sri Lankan Trade Minister for $1 Billion Trade by 2024

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Karachi: Hanif Lakhany, VP FPCCI, has expressed his profound grief over the most unfortunate and gruesome Sialkot incident with a Sri Lankan national; and, respectfully acknowledged the Sri Lankan resolve and resilience to continue to cement the brotherly bilateral relations between the two historically significant strategic partner nations. He was speaking at the visit of a high-profile Sri Lankan trade & investment delegation comprising of high-ranking state functionaries and business leaders.

Hanif Lakhany added that Sri Lanka is the only country with whom we have trade surplus on a sustainable basis; and, therefore, it will always continue to be an important market for Pakistani business, trade, and industrial community. He also pointed out that Sri Lanka should aggressively promote its wonderful destinations and tourism infrastructure to Pakistanis to broaden People-to-People (P2P) and Business-to-Business (B2B) linkages and relations.

Dr. Bandula Gunawardane, Minister of Trade of Sri Lanka, said that a bilateral trade volume of approximately $450 million is grossly insufficient as compared to the true potential for the same; and, he expressed his resolve and offered his full support to take it to one billion dollars by the year 2024. He enlisted a number of areas to increase the exports to Pakistan; namely, various kinds of tea, natural rubber, coconut & coconut products, raw & processed fish, papermaking raw materials, gemstones, etc.

Dr. Bandula Gunawardane mentioned that Pakistan-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (PSFTA) inked in 2005 has not achieved its real potential and needs to be revisited to make it more effective and result-oriented. He was optimistic that PSFTA can be widely expanded and updated to effectively kickstart an upward spiral in trade volumes and can translate into a multi-billion dollar phenomenon.