Sri Lankan to hold trade discussions in Tehran to look at diversification of exports to Iran
Sri Lankan government to hold trade discussions in Tehran to look at diversification of exports to Iran

Sri Lankan government to hold trade discussions in Tehran to look at diversification of exports to Iran

Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Industry and Commerce has stated that the country is looking at diversifying its exports to Iran after Tehran proposed to host the island to a round of trade negotiations this August.
The Ministry has stated that Iran’s envoy to Colombo Mohammad Zaerl Amirani had on Tuesday said Tehran was keen to host the 12th Sessions of the Joint-Commission for Economic Cooperation (JCEC) between the two countries by August 2018.
“Tea accounts for 90 percent of our exports to Iran and it’s time to diversify our exports basket. The August JCEC meeting can help us achieve this,” Sri Lanka’s Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen has said.
The last time the joint commission, which was established three decades ago, met was in February 2016.
According to the Ministry, the renewed interest in reviving bilateral trade negotiations follows President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to Iran where he met with President Hassan Rouhani who had stressed the importance of the joint commission.
“This JCEC can help grow our trade numbers, which is in need of a boost,” Iran’s ambassador Amirani has been quoted as saying.
Trade between the two countries totalled US$ 188 million in 2017, which is a 4.5 percent increase from a year earlier. Sri Lanka’s exports to Iran reportedly amount to US$ 177 million.
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce has also stated that the two countries signed several agreements covering drug trafficking, health, standardization, film industry and exchange of students during President Sirisena’s recent visit to Iran.

OSL take:

The discussion to diversify Sri Lankan exports to Iran would result in the expansion of the export market for local products in the Middle Eastern country. The discussion between authorities in Colombo and Tehran scheduled for this August would help improve local exports to Iran. This would also provide the opportunity for foreign companies interested in doing business with Iran to use Sri Lanka as the base of their operation.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20180615/Z_2

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