Sri Lanka private sector takes a bold initiative in further strengthening friendly ties between Sri Lanka and Pakistan and enhancing bilateral trade relations between the two countries.
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) towards this end. .
The MOU which was signed last month by Manjula de Silva, CEO of the Ceylon Chamber and Sohail Altaf, Group Leader of the RCCI was followed by the inking of nine agreements between Pakistani and Sri Lankan companies, in the areas of education, pharmaceutical production, automobiles, information technology and automobile spares, the chambers announced. .
Minister of Trade Bandula Gunawardena who was the Chief Guest at the event stated that tourism and information technology are two sectors that could potentially be profitably developed between the two countries.
Mr. Alftaf meanwhile announced that the visiting delegation, comprising of more than 100 delegates, was keen on identifying viable projects to invest in Sri Lanka, including in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry.
Mr. de Silva welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with the RCCI in order to further promote trade and commercial activities between the private sectors of the two countries.
The MOU will facilitate the dissemination of relevant information in order to enhance bilateral trade and business, including initiating and promoting joint ventures, partnerships and other business linkages, as well as the provision of technical expertise, trade delegations between the two countries and other economic promotion activities such as business webinars and B2B meetings.
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has to-date signed 140 Memoranda of Understanding to expand and further strengthen strong relationships with overseas trade promotion organisations for the benefit of the business community in Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile a high-level trade delegation from Sri Lanka, led by Sri Lankan Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardhana, will be visiting Pakistan by the end of this month to help explore business opportunities in Pakistan.
This was disclosed by the Chairman of the 33rd International Achievements Awards and Business Opportunities Conference of the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (RCCI) .
An over 100-member business delegation from Pakistan was led by RCCI group leader Mr Sohail Altaf along with President RCCI Ch. Nadeem Rauf and Chairman Mr. Usman Shaukat.
Usman Shaukat said a total of nine MoUs were also signed between Pakistan and Sri Lanka’s leading business entities in sectors of education, pharmaceuticals, automobiles and information and technology.
In addition, MoUs were also signed between the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Sri Lankan Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCISL) to strengthen bilateral relations at the chamber level.
The conference explored opportunities of trade and investment in various sectors to achieve the shared aspirations of the two countries.
Pakistan acting high commissioner Tanvir Ahmad said there was immense potential for both countries to expand trade under the FTA.
RCCI Group Leader Sohail Altaf said that they were exploring opportunities to expand tourism and aviation between Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
RCCI President Nadeem A. Rauf said the FTA of the two countries could not reach its full potential due to technical disputes, whilst expressing commitment to enhancing trade relations by removing various impediments.
Chairman Usman Shaukat gave a detailed presentation on investment opportunities for Sri Lankan entities in Pakistan in sectors such as IT, pharmaceuticals, textiles and CPEC related projects.
State minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Tharaka Balasuriya and representatives from various local companies were also in attendance at the event.
On the same day, the 33rd International Achievement Awards ceremony was held to honour the leading corporate entities from Pakistan and awards were presented by the Chief Guest Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa