Both Qatar and Sri Lanka vowed to break their present low trade threshold and enhance the bilateral trade beyond the present USD 45 million.
“I am sure that the two day discussions in Colombo will help enhance our bilateral trade ” said the Sri Lankan Minister of industry and commerce Rishad Bathiudeen, addressing the closing session of the second Qatar-Sri Lanka Joint Committee for Economic, Commercial and Technical Cooperation at Cinnamon Lake Hotel yesterday.
The Qatari delegation was led by Qatari Minister of Economy & Commerce (HE) Sheikh Ahmad Bin Jassim Bin Mohammed Al Thani.
“Following the conclusion of last week’s high level bilateral meetings in Doha the time has come for us to have a fresh look at our trade relations and to widen it” said Bathiudeen.
“I have been informed by my officials that the two day discussions were fruitful and resulted in many positive outcomes on a number of mutual areas of cooperation including power and energy, aviation, hospitality industry, and agriculture. Especially discussions on using Qatari LNG gas for cleaner energy in Sri Lanka are a new aspect at this session. I am sure that the two day discussions in Colombo will help enhance our bilateral trade that is only US $ 45 million at present.”
Qatari Commere Minister Jassim Al Thani addressing the closing session said that through this joint trade mechanism, Qatar looks forward to enhance bilateral trade.
“We look forward through this Committee to increase the volume of trade and to establish effective plans that serve our investment goals” said Qatari Minister Al Thani, and added: “The volume of trade exchange between the two countries reached Qatari Riyals 223 Mn in 2016. In addition, there are 210 Lankan companies established in partnership with the Qatari side with a capital of 45.5 million Qatari Riyals. Also the Agreement and the MoU signed between the two countries played an important role in strengthening our economic relations. Therefore Qatar considers Sri Lanka as an important investment and trade partner in the light of economic potential which will lead us to put a number of vital sectors on the map of joint cooperation in the next phase, notably the Agricultural sector. We also look forward to further activating relations between the private sector and businessmen from both sides and enabling them to play a bigger role. Qatar, through the Port of Hamad has succeeded in developing direct commercial lines with a number of strategic ports and shipping services provided by the national carrier to more than 150 destinations around the world.”
According to the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka (DoCSL) bilateral trade between both countries two-way trade between Sri Lanka and Qatar averaged around US $ 45 million I 2016. While Sri Lanka’s exports to Qatar was at US $ 15 Mn Qatar’s exports to Sri Lanka remained at US $ 30 Mn. 37% of Sri Lanka’s exports to Qatar were Bananas followed by food preparations, Tea, tires and vegetables. Meanwhile Sri Lanka’s imports from Qatar have primarily been Polymers of ethylene.
Sources : asianmirror
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