Pakistan & Srilanka-Trade and Investment Opportunities: Trade and Economic ties between Pakistan & Sri Lanka
YASIN JOYIA, Honorary Consul General Sri Lanka Punjab (Designated)
Prime Minister of Pakistan H.E Imran Khan in his recent visit to Sri Lanka focused the need for further promotion of existing trade and economic ties between Pakistan Sri Lanka; he talked about the need of wealth creation and poverty all eviation for the social economic uplift of the nations. PM mentioned that the Pakistan is an “important component” of the CPEC, which he said would “open new avenues for the development of regional ties”. Further more he said tourism sector has huge potential and Pakistan should learn from Sri Lanka on this front, to enhance tourism services exports.
Reciprocally Prime Minister of Sri Lanka H.E. Mahindra Rajapaksa saidthat the both the nations may consider investing in each other’s development from their reserves. This type of investment was suggested to be carried out mutually through the state banks of both the countries.
Many struggles were made inthe history of Sri Lanka for the cause of freedom. And on the Independence Day all of those who fought for this are remembered and celebrated. But the independence movement against the British is especially recalled.
In the President’s speech, he high lights the achievements of the government during the past year, raises important issues and requests the people to join together in commemorating this historic day. The President also paystribute to the national heroes of Sri Lanka, observing two minutes of silencein their memory.
A great military parade is also performed. In recent years, it displays the power of the army, navy, air force, police and the civil defense force. In addition, the commitment, bravery, national unityand determination to achieve peace is recollected in the minds of the Sri Lankan people.
Moreover, the national flag ishoisted and the national anthem sung, the traditional lamp is lit and the processions begin, complete with meticulously coordinated military parades, firing of canons and various religious and cultural performances, all to paying tribute to the ancestors of the land for their glorious feat. Sri Lanka celebrates the gaining of her independence from Colonial rule with magnificent pomp and pageantry and the spirit of patriotism resonating in every street corner.
Sri Lanka is a mesmerizing island nation, South of India. Surrounded by the blue Indian Ocean from all sides, the island covers an area of 65,610 sq.kms. Blessed with a diverse landscaperanging from lush green tropical foreststo highlands, arid plains and pristinesandy beaches, this county has something for everyone.
The capital city Colombo is a modern hub exhibiting urbane life. Moving on from the polished city life, Sri Lanka’sexotic attractions are a paradise for anima land nature lovers. The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage sanctuary is home to 60 abandoned wild elephant babies who arecared for. Revel as you watch the elephants enjoying their river soak. Nuwara Eliya isthe country’s lush green hill station, once a summer retreat of colonizers; it is now home to verdant tea plantations, Sri Lanka’s best golf course and the beautiful Hakgala Botanical Gardens. Kandy is another gorgeous hill city that is built around an attractive man-made lake; thetown is famous for the Esala Perahera Festival in August. Kandy is also known for housing a scared artifact in a guarded coffer in Dalada Maligawa or in the Temple of The Tooth.
For art and history lovers, Polonnuaruwa is an absolute delight. This place a part from housing the ancient ruins of palaces and friezes also features the 12-century stone sculptures of Buddha.Three statues of the Buddha, one sitting,one standing and the last reclining are the most revered monuments in Sri Lanka. Another exciting attraction is Sigiriya. This place is famed for housing the ancientruins of the 5th century lion rock fortress of King Kashyapa. It is also renowned for having a 1500-year-old painted frescoes located at the top of a spiral staircase andhas been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is interesting to note that many attractions of Sri Lanka are located in a cultural triangle at the Centre of the country encompassing other amazing attractions like the Dambulla Cave Temples and the ancient city of Ceylonesein Anuradhapura.
The country has beenclassified as 'middle-income economy' bythe IMF since 2010. The unemploymentrate in the country was 4.9% in 2019, against 4.4% in 2018. The IMF expects however this trend to be affected by the negative economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate being currently estimated to increase to 6.3% in2020 and decrease to 5% in 2021. SriLanka’s record of poverty reduction has been encouraging. The poverty headcountrate fell from about 22.7% in 2002 to 4.1%in 2016 (Asia Development Bank, latestdata available). However, living standards remain low and pockets of severe poverty persist. Additionally, poverty rates aredisproportionately high for vulnerable groups such as youth and ethnic minorities; and unemployment is high for youthand women. Still, the country’s 21 million in habitants have achieved some of the best human development results in South Asia.The literacy rate in 2019 was close to 100%and the country’s life expectancy is thehighest in the region. High literacy rates, low mortality rates and the steadilydeclining population growth, reflect thecountry’s progress in the sphere of socialdevelopment.
The present Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Pakistan, Vice AdmiralMohan Wijiwickrama having a militaryand a strong political background.Beingthe ex-governor of two provinces in SriLanka. He has been playing an importantpart in uplifting the status of his Country. He is very keen to promotetrade, tourism and cultural relations between both countries. He carries positive concepts to improve bilateral relations and multilateral relations between both countries.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021