Sri Lanka and Pakistan agree to redouble trade promotions to reach US$ 1bn target by 2018
The fifth Sri Lanka-Pakistan Foreign Office Consultations were held in Colombo recently after a lapse of three years. The meeting of Foreign Secretaries Prasad Kariyawasam and Tehmina Janjua of Sri Lanka and Pakistan also took place last week.
A wide range of issues reflecting the multifaceted nature of cooperation between the two countries were discussed at the event. The subjects discussed included trade and investment, tourism, science and technology, education, immigration, defence, sports, and ways and means to deepen bilateral relations and overcome impediments for strengthening collaboration further.
The ongoing close cooperation between the parliamentarians of the two countries has been noted as a means for further enhancing bilateral cooperation and people-to-people contact.
Pakistan and Sri Lanka has agreed to redouble trade promotions effort in order to invigorate efforts to reach the target of US$ 1 billion trade by 2018.
The second edition of the Pakistan Single Country Exhibition held in Colombo, and Sri Lanka’s participation consisting of a pavilion of 20 exhibitors at Expo Pakistan in November 2017 in Karachchi, with ‘Guest Country Status’ has also been discussed.
Investment opportunities available under the Pakistan–Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (PSFTA) were explored last week and issues that impede its maximum potential were also discussed with a view to promoting more trade and investment under the provisions of the PSFTA.
The establishment of the Advisory Committee by the Sri Lanka–Pakistan Business Council to study trade related issues under the PSFTA and formulate a strategy to improve exports under the agreement was viewed as an appropriate and timely initiative.
Means to utilizing credit line facilities offered by Pakistan in priority projects in areas such as housing, livestock and science and technology were discussed while the ongoing close defence cooperation between the two countries was also reviewed.
The Joint Working Group (JWG) is scheduled to meet soon with a view to assessing progress and providing impetus to the implementation of MoUs/Agreements as well as other areas of cooperation including in education, sports, and in science and technology.
The move to further strengthen bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Pakistan as well as the redoubling of trade promotions to invigorate efforts to reach the target of US$ 1 billion trade by 2018 are indications of the island nation becoming a hot spot for those looking at entering the Pakistan market using the facilities available in the Pakistan–Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement.
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