Commerce Minister to visit Sri Lanka on Tuesday

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ISLAMABAD, Nov 8 (APP): Federal Minister for Commerce Engineer
Khurram Dastgir Khan will visit Sri Lanka on a three-day official
visit from Tuesday to boost bilateral investment and trade between
the two friendly countries.
According to a press release received here, the minister would
be accompanied by a high powered business delegation consisting of
cement, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, sugar, shipping,
construction and manufacturing sector companies.
The visit of the commerce minister is planned in furtherance
to the understanding reached between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, to take the bilateral
trade and investment to new heights, during latter’s visit to
Islamabad in April this year.
During his stay in Sri Lanka, Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan is
scheduled to meet Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The minister will also call on Sri Lankan Minister for
Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Public
Administration and Management Ranjith Madduma Bandara and Minister
for Megapolis and Western Development Champika Ranawaka.
Khurram Dastgir will also participate in the first official
high level Business Interaction Forum between the two countries
organized by the Export Development Board of Sri Lanka. The
Pakistan-Sri Lanka Business Interaction Forum is planned to be held
in Colombo on November 11, with the participation of prominent
business representatives of both sides.
The commerce minister has revitalized Pakistan’s trade
diplomacy at the Ministry of Commerce. He spearheaded the successful
campaign to obtain GSP Plus trade preferences for Pakistan from the
European Union.
His vigorous diplomacy has led to start of Pakistan’s
negotiations for free trade agreements with Turkey and Thailand.
Under his stewardship, the Ministry of Commerce has revamped
national trade protection laws, obtained approval for Pakistan’s
accession to TIR convention, and has successfully concluded
institutional reforms of the Ministry itself as well as its attached
departments. He has steered the drive for a qualitative shift
towards value-addition and diversification in Pakistan’s exports.
Pakistan is the second largest trading partner of Sri Lanka in
the SAARC region whereas Sri Lanka is the first country to sign free
trade agreement (FTA) with Pakistan in July 2002 with its
operationalization in June, 2005.
Pakistan is an important export market for tea, followed by
copra, rubber, betel leaves and tamarind; similarly, for Pakistan,
Sri Lanka is an important market for cement, GI Pipe, textiles,
pharmaceuticals, machinery and agricultural items.
To showcase the whole range of Pakistan’s industrial sector to
the Sri Lankan consumers, the Trade Development Authority of
Pakistan is organizing Pakistan Single Country Exhibition in BMICH
Colombo from January 15 to 17, 2016. More than 150 Pakistani
companies are expected to participate in the exhibition.