Lanka’s second largest SAARC trade partner keen on JVs

Monday, 3 December 2012 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Trade up by 20% in 2011 with overall growth of 159%
  • Keen on Pharma, Jewellery and Textiles JVs

Pakistan, Sri Lanka’s second largest trade partner in SAARC region, is mulling private sector based JVs to boost trade with Sri Lanka. “Though our bilateral trade is on the rise, there is much more unrealised potential in this regard.

Joint Ventures specially, between private sectors of both countries, can assist us in this regard” said H.E. Seema Illahi Baloch, the outgoing High Commissioner of Pakistan to Sri Lanka on 26 November.

H.E. Baloch was addressing Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka on 26 November at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce during H.E. Baloch’s farewell courtesy call on Minister Bathiudeen.

Pakistan is the second largest trading partner of Sri Lanka in the SAARC region after India. According to the department of commerce of Sri Lanka, a substantial growth in bilateral trade is seen in both exports and imports specially, after the free trade agreement between the two countries was implemented in 2005. The value of total trade between the two countries has increased from US$ 158 million in 2005 to US$ 410.56 million in 2011, a growth of 159%. The balance of trade has always been in favour of Pakistan.

“We thank you for your keen interest to expand bilateral trade between the two countries during your mission here” said Minister Bathiudeen. “We also believe that despite our bilateral trade growing to a strong US$ 410.56 million by 2011, there is yet unrealised trade potential between the two countries” he added.

“Joint Ventures specially, between private sectors of both countries, can assist both countries to expand bilateral trade from current levels. I see joint venture potential between both countries in jewellery, pharmaceuticals, textiles, and marble and granite” said H.E. Baloch. Pakistan is well known for its huge onyx deposits and its marble and granite industry.