Rawalpindi: /DNA/ – A high level trade delegation from Sri Lanka, led by Minister of Trade Dr Bandula Gunawardhane paid a visit to the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and industry (RCCI) here on Tuesday.

The delegation includes Tharaka Balasuriya, state minister of regional co-operation, Prof. Dr. Saj Mendis, director general of the economic affairs division, Gnanapragasam Gnanadeva, director, ministry of commerce,  Yogendra Perera, chairman,  Sri Lanka   state trading, High Commissioner Vice Admiral Mohan Wijewickrama, among others.

RCCI President Nadeem Rauf in his welcome address thanked the delegation and said that Pakistan and Sri Lanka have historical friendly and trade relations. He expressed hope that the visit will further strengthen trade ties between the two countries.

He said that the business community of Pakistan was deeply saddened by the death of Sri Lankan Mr. Prentha Kumara in the Sialkot incident. Group Leader Sohail Altaf said that Pakistan is the best country for investment and bilateral relations can be enhanced in many fields.

Dr Bandula Gunawardhane in his address lauded RCCI efforts in promoting trade ties and congratulated the leadership for successfully organizing the business opportunity conference in Colombo in November 2021. He said Pakistan Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (PSFTA) has moderately enhanced bilateral trade volume, but the real potential still needed to be achieved by both countries.

He said that Sri Lankan offers trade cooperation in textiles, electronic products and coconut products to Pakistan. On the occasion, Sri Lankan Minister of State for Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasoriya highlighted key areas of cooperation and added that bilateral trade volume between Pakistan and Sri Lanka is far less than expected.

He said that there are immense opportunities in the textile industry in Sri Lanka. Pakistan is a long standing friend of Sri Lanka, who has stood by Sri Lanka in every difficult time. Special economic zones have been created for Pakistani investors.

Business to Business (B2B)meetings were also held on the occasion of the delegation’s visit in which representatives of specific sectors like rice, fish, coconut oil and spices shared information with each other.