Pak-Lanka FTA has given big boost to trade

Monday, 1 July 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

30 June, 2013, Karachi: Pakistan’s trade with Sri Lanka has grown significantly after the free trade agreement (FTA) that was signed in 2005, thereby making it one of Pakistan’s most successful bilateral trade agreements. This was stated by the Acting President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Gulzar Firoz, while welcoming the Consul General of Sri Lanka in Karachi D.W. Jinadasa. Firoz noted that Pakistan’s exports to Sri Lanka had grown noticeably over the past few years, which was commendable. He stressed on the more frequent exchange of delegations and reciprocal participation in exhibitions in order to take the trade volume beyond the level of the existing $ 380 million. At the same time, he said that Pakistani exporters should try to promote textiles more actively in the Sri Lankan market, because Pakistani textiles were top quality. Furthermore, he suggested that Sri Lanka may consider increasing the quota for rice export to Pakistan which was currently 6,000 metric tons. He also asked the Sri Lankan Consul General about what products Pakistan could buy from Sri Lanka, besides tea and coconuts, which were already being imported. FPCCI Vice President Shaheen Ilyas Sarwana pointed out that India was among Sri Lanka’s leading sources of imports and suggested that Sri Lanka may consider buying more products from Pakistan, which had the advantage of more competitive prices. He also asked Sri Lankan exhibitors to participate actively in the upcoming Expo 2013. While responding to the businessmen’s queries, Jinadasa said that there was the need to organise an awareness session on the Pak-Sri Lanka FTA to educate the business community about what products they could get preferential access for in Sri Lanka. He said that the Pak-Sri Lanka FTA had moved a long way forward since it was signed, but there was still some lack of awareness about how the businessmen of both countries could benefit from the FTA. He said that Sri Lankan exhibitors would be participating in the Expo 2013, because they were eager to increase trade with Pakistan. The meeting was attended by Nasir Shaikh, Mohammad Siddique Shaikh, Farhana Iqbal, Mushtaq Noorwala, Nasir Abbas and Zaman Ahmed. (Source: Pakistan Observer)