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Sri Lanka invites Pakistani investors for joint ventures October 10, 2012
Meeting at ICCI
H.E. Mr. Rohita Thilakaratne, President, Pak-Sri Lanka Business Council along with H.E. Air Chief Marshal (Rtd.) Jayalath Weerakkody, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry and exchanged views with business community on prospects of further improving trade and economic relations between the two countries.
He said that Sri Lanka was planning to set up an Industrial Park for pharmaceutical industry and Pakistani pharma investors should explore possibilities of establishing joint ventures in that facility in Sri Lanka.
He said that textiles and tourism were also potential areas of cooperation between the two countries as tourism was one of the fastest growing sectors in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka also offers cheap and well trained manpower, which could be an additional advantage for Pakistani investors.
Mr. Thilakaratne said that by making investment in Sri Lanka, Pakistani entrepreneurs would be able to export their products to huge Indian market and earn substantial profit as Sri Lanka and India were exchanging 110 flights in a week.
H.E. Air Chief Marshal (Retd) Jayalath Weerakkody, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka informed that presently there were only 7 flights from Karachi to Colombo every week and Sri Lanka was planning to start 3 flights every week from Lahore to Colombo to facilitate trade promotion.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that bilateral trade between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was still below half a billion US dollars, which was quite low than the available potential. He said that both countries should accelerate efforts to take bilateral trade to at least US$ 1 billion.
He said Pakistan and Sri Lanka have the ability to complement each other’s economy and stressed that frequent exchange of trade delegation should be encouraged to connect private sectors for exploring new areas of mutual cooperation.
Zafar Bakhtawari suggested that Pakistan and Sri Lanka should enhance the frequency of air flights and proposed that there should be at least one flight from Islamabad to Colombo per week to establish direct air links between the two capitals. He stressed that the trade promotion agencies of both countries should facilitate businessmen in holding single country exhibitions in each other country to improve trade. He also announced sending a business delegation led by Sheikh Amir Waheed, Executive Member of ICCI to Sri Lanka in February 2013 to explore new business opportunities between the two countries. 

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