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Pak-Sri Lanka to boost bilateral trade to one billion dollars

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 4 (APP): Minister of State/ Chairman Board Of Investment (BOI), Saleem H. Mandviwalla on Saturday termed the visit of President Asif Ali Zardari to Sri Lanka very successful and said that both the countries would boost bilateral trade from existing US $ 300 million to $ one billion in near future.

According to a statement of the BOI issued here, Saleem H.Mandviwalla visited Srilanka with the President to finalize the possibility of enhanced commercial and economic cooperation and the potential oftwo-way investments between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.On return from his successful visit to Srilanka, Chairman BoI said that Srilanka is keen to learn the agricultural techniques from Pakistan to increase the capacity of its agricultural land

He said that a ceremony of signing the MoU in agriculture was also held in which MOS/Chairman BOI and Srilankan counterpart primarily assured each other to clarify the intention to establish the understanding of having cooperation for business facilitation in the field of agriculture.

He said that he also addressed to Pakistan Srilanka Business Forum, in which he highted that Pakistan was the second largest trading partnerof Sri Lanka in Asia with bilateral trade volume of US$ 300 million but “our target is one billion dollars in the near future”.
Pakistan can help Sri Lanka set up sugar and cement plants in return for import of Sri Lankan produce and manufactures in Pakistan in barter trade. Saleem H. Mandviwalla said Pakistan has offered a soft credit of US 200 million to Sri Lanka for exporting, barter trade and easing its business transactions.

He mentioned they have a Free Trade Agreement, Bilateral Investments Treaty and Avoidance of Double Taxation to facilitate business communities. He also said the visa regime would be liberalized and business community facilitated to travel.

He said the incentives offered by Pakistan to foreign investors are very similar to the ones by the Sri Lanka. As a result of BoI chief’s recent visit to Srilanka , Pakistani investors can invest in mutually beneficial business ventures in Sri Lanka. A branch of National Bank of Pakistan in Colombo on a reciprocal basis will start functioning soon. Joint Economic Commission (JEC) facilitate the bilateral economic cooperation and monitor its progress.

Under JEC the two countries identified cooperation in cement,sugar, dairy production, textiles, tourism, light engineering, fresh fruits and vegetables, processed goods and pharmaceuticals as potential areas of mutually beneficial collaborative projects.- APP


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December 4, 2010 at 9:00 pm

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