Apr 19, Colombo: Iran's Majlis (Parliament) Speaker Ali Larijani, who is on a two-day visit to Sri Lanka, called on the businessmen in Iran and Sri Lanka to try to expand industrial relations between the two nations.
Addressing a meeting attended by members of Sri Lankan chamber of commerce and a number of Iranian businessmen and traders in the country, Larijani stressed the role chambers of commerce in the two countries could play to help expand bilateral trade relations between Iran and Sri Lanka, the official Islamic Republic News Agency said.
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in association with the Embassy of Iran in Sri Lanka organized the High Level discussion with the Speaker and the 12 member high level official delegation from Iran today at the Chamber.
The Iranian Speaker said the two countries need to move from tea business toward developing ties in other fields like industrial and technical-engineering services.
Larijani said that after implementation of the nuclear deal between Iran and P5+1 group on nations, trade ties between the two countries were expected to rise.
He went on to refer to implementation of two big projects by Iranian companies in Sri Lanka, one a rural electricity project and the other construction of a dam in the country.
Iran's Majlis Speaker said the Iranian lawmakers are supportive of expansion of industrial and trade relations with Sri Lanka.
Meantime, officials affiliated with the Sri Lanka's chamber of commerce also hailed the long history of relations between the two countries, which has been always strong.
They said that in the previous years, 90 percent of Sri Lanka's exports to Iran was tea while the main commodity imported from Iran was oil. But now, in addition to oil, Sri Lanka is importing machineries and fishery products from Iran, too.
They said the number of Iranian tourists who visited Sri Lanka in 2017, show a 55 percent rise.
According to them, despite plenty of trade opportunities, Iran and Sri Lanka are facing a main challenge, namely, lack of financial mechanisms and banking ties.