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* Sri Lanka, Nepal in discussions to increase bilateral trade
Wed, Oct 10, 2012, 11:28 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Oct 10, Colombo: Nepali businessmen engaged in trade with Sri Lanka have net with the officials of Sri Lankan Embassy in Kathmandu on Tuesday to discuss ways to increase bilateral trade between the two countries.

A press release issued by Nepal-Sri Lanka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (NSCCI), a business delegation led by the president of NSCCI, Bhakta Bahadur Malla, met Chargé d'affaires of the Embassy D.V. Abeywickrema and the Economic Counselor Dison J Perera on Tuesday to discuss and identify possible ways of increasing volume of trade and connecting the two countries through direct flights.

"Two sides agreed to improve the mechanism of information sharing between the two countries," the release said.

Abeywickrema has said that he would work on developing the bridge between business communities from the two countries in every possible way.

He has noted that the Sri Lankan Embassy is interested in establishing direct flights to connect the two countries

"In order to increase the movement of people between the two countries, we have to connect the two countries through a direct flight," the release quoting the Embassy official said.

The Nepali business leaders have requested the Embassy to encourage Sri Lankan investors to visit Nepal.

A Nepalese delegation of tourist entrepreneurs visited Sri Lanka in August to attract Sri Lankan tourists to promote tourism in Nepal.

The bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and Nepal is minimal compared to Sri Lanka's trade with other SAARC countries in the region.

According to the trade statistics compiled at Trade and Export promotion Centre (TEPC) exports from Sri Lanka amounted to 11 million rupees and imports by Nepal amounted to 230 million rupees creating a trade deficit of 219 million rupees in 2011.

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