Aug 24, Islamabad: The Sri Lankan Minister of External Affairs Prof G.L. Peiris invited the Pakistani Businessmen to visit Colombo and attend the Commonwealth Business Forum to strengthen economic relations between the two countries.
Minister Peiris said Sri Lanka is very keen to expand its economic relation with Pakistan especially in the areas of micro credit, sugar, construction and cement Industry when he met with the Finance Minister of Pakistan Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar in Islamabad Friday, the official news agency APP said.
The Minister also extended an official invitation to the Pakistani Minister to attend the Commonwealth Business Forum to be held in Colombo alongside the Commonwealth Heads of government Meeting (CHOGM) in November and invited the Minister to address the Business Forum so that Sri Lanka could benefit from his rich experience.
The Sri Lankan Minister said with the prevailing peace and political stability Sri Lanka has invested big in infrastructure development in rural areas that were neglected during the three-decade long conflict and the country at present is enjoying a 6 percent growth rate.
The two ministers discussed areas of economic co-operation and ways to enhance bilateral trade and economic relations between the two countries.
During discussions the Pakistan Minister pointed out that the present volume of trade between the two countries does not reflect the depth and close relations between the two countries.
The Sri Lankan External Minister thanked the government and people of Pakistan for their support and assistance to Sri Lanka in international forums and termed the relations between the two countries as excellent.
Prof. Peiris also invited the Senator Dar to the Finance Minister's meeting of SAARC being held on August 30.
He also expressed the hope the Finance Minister would be able to attend the next meeting of the Joint Ministerial Commission of Pakistan and Sri Lanka expected to be held in Colombo in the end of September, this year.
The Finance Minister assured the Sri Lankan Minister that Pakistan would provide all possible assistance in the development of Sri Lanka.
Responding to the request of Sri Lankan Minister to send business persons, Pakistan, he said would assemble a group of businessmen, who are genuinely interested to do business with Sri Lanka and hoped that this would open new vistas and further deepen the economic ties between the two countries.
The Finance Minister also apprised the Sri Lankan External Minister about the state of economy of Pakistan and the stabilization measures taken by the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to address macro-economic imbalances.
The government, he said, has set an ambitious revenue target as well as a public sector development programme of Rs 540 billion, besides, an amount of Rs 75 billion has also been allocated for the social safety net.
The High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Pakistan Air Chief Marshall (Retd) Jayalath Weerakkody accompanied the Sri Lankan Minister.