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* Sri Lanka, Pakistan to explore full bilateral trade potential
Wed, Nov 14, 2012, 12:32 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 13, Colombo: Business officials of Sri Lanka and Pakistan have decided that the two countries despite having good economic and trade relations, need to take efforts to further explore full trade potential between them to increase the two way trade.

A visiting business delegation from Sri Lanka headed by K. Abdul Baiz, Chairman of Puttalam Urban Council visiting Pakistan held discussions with the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) to explore new avenues of bilateral economic and commercial cooperation.

The Sri Lankan delegation was visiting on the invitation from Administrator of Karachi Metropolitan Corporations for deliberation on proposed Karachi-Puttalam Sister City Arrangements.

President of KCCI Muhammad Haroon Agar appreciated the proposed initiative of Sister-City Arrangement between Karachi and Puttalam of Sri Lanka's North Western Province.

He suggested the Puttalam Urban Council to join with Karachi Metropolitan Corporation on areas of mutual cooperation and offered KCCI's best cooperation to business community of Puttalam in respect of trade.

Agar highlighted the importance of regional trade and stressed on the need of frequent exchange of delegations and data based information on trade and markets and holding of single country exhibitions.

The president of KCCI also assured best cooperation and support to fortify bilateral trade and relations between Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Baiz complimented the KCCI President for promoting the bilateral trade and agreed that Pakistan-Sri Lanka trade volume was not aligned with available trading potential, therefore, promotion of economic and commercial activities is essential.

He informed the KCCI that due to geographical proximity volume of Indian trade with Sri Lanka as compared to Pakistan was on higher side.

He said Sri Lanka attaches high importance to trade with Pakistan and in this regard there is a need to connect the business communities of two countries and explore new business opportunities.

He said Sri Lanka attaches high importance to trade with Pakistan and in this regard there is a need to connect the business communities of two countries and explore new business opportunities. Puttalam is producing coconut, sea-salt, shrimp, seafood while there was a huge demand of Pakistani cows/livestock and textile products in Sri Lanka, he added.

According to Baiz, Minister for Health, Indigenous Medicine, Sports and Youth Affairs of North Western Province Ashoka Wadigamangawa was scheduled to lead the Sri Lankan delegation but due to the reported unrest in Karachi the Minister and many businesspersons could not come.

However, the situation was not as bad in Karachi as the electronic media depicts, Baiz said.

Former President KCCI Majyd Aziz, during whose tenure the KCCI took lead to organize joint meeting of representatives of both countries to provide input on Pakistan-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement, proposed that KCCI along with some other leading Chambers of Pakistan should play their thriving role on bilateral issues between the two countries so that things should happen on fast track.

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