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Pakistan’s relations with the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka are special, cordial and unique. The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Sri Lanka in 2002 has been a great leap in bilateral economic relations, which was Pakistan’s first ever FTA. It offers preferential access to the exports of Pakistan and Sri Lanka in each other’s market and enabled substantial increase in our bilateral trade. With shared SAARC membership, can be a strong basis for greater regional integration.

During the visit of the Prime Minister to Sri Lanka in February, 2021, Pakistan organized first ever Trade & Investment Conference at Colombo. The Investment Promotion Agencies of Pakistan and Sri Lanka signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on investment cooperation. This reflects on our commitment to creating strong business linkages with our Sri Lankan friends.

This was the fourth high level bilateral engagement in last few months which also included Commerce Secretary Level Talks in February 2021. The Joint Working Groups of both countries on Trade, Auto, and Investment are preparing to meet in May 2021.Despite challenges posed by Covid-19 to global economies, the exports of Sri Lanka to Pakistan have registered a substantial increase of 25.15% which reflects the resilience of Pakistan’s consumer economy. Likewise, the quantum of exports of Portland cement and onions, the prime products in Pakistan’s export basket, has also increased.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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