A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between business councils of Pakistan ans Sri Lanka on Thursday to accelerate bilateral trade and utilize benefits of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Pakistan being the second largest trading partner of Sri Lanka in South Asia there is a strong need for exchange of delegations to promote trade between the two countries.
The MoU was signed by Rohita Thilakaratne, President Sri Lanka-Pakistan Business Council of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Khalil Naseer, Chairman of the council established under the umbrella of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI).
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Sri Lanka Industries Minister Rishad Badhiutheen, FPCCI President Abdul Rauf Alam, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) Chief Executive SM Muneer, and other businessmen from Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
The Sri Lankan minister, who is heading a 19-member delegation to participate in Pakistanâ€™s first textile exhibition TEXPO â€“ 2016, said that both the countries have economic relations for the past many years.
TDAP chief executive urged the FPCCI to adopt a practical approach to explore the benefits of the FTA for enhancing bilateral trade between the two countries.
Pakistan and Sri Lanka signed FTA in 2005. At the time of signing the FTA, Sri Lankan exports to Pakistan were $40 million and imports from Pakistan were $108 million. In 2015, the trade volume for export and imports of Sri Lanka with Pakistan increased to $73 million and $297 million, respectively.
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