Sri Lanka has discussed the possibility in investing on small scale hydro power plants in Punjab, Pakistan during a visit by a three member delegation from Sri Lanka to the Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT).
Minister for Public Administration and Management Ranjith Madduma Bandara headed the delegation comprising Gamini Rathnayaka, CEO of Gal-Oya Plantations and Udyama Kurukularatne. The PBIT Chairman Abdul Basit represented the board, while Tousif Peracha, CEO of Gharibwal Group was also present, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported.
The meeting focused on expanding trade and investment between the two countries. The delegation stressed upon the benefits of multiple small scale hydro power generation units along the canal system. Gal-Oya is keen to invest in these units allover Punjab.
Ranjith Madduma Bandara said that Sri Lanka was meeting 50 percent of its energy needs from such units and Pakistan had one of the largest canal systems in the word so it could benefit greatly.
He added that trade balance between the two countries was 90 percent favorable towards Pakistan as Pakistan’s exports to Sri Lanka being much greater than its imports.
While, Kurukularatne pointed out that the non-trade barriers between the countries were the biggest hurdle in the way of free trade agreement.
The PBIT Basit proposed to enhance the spice trade between the countries as Sri Lanka was one of the biggest consumers of spices in the world.
Both the sides also agreed upon promoting tourism and collaborating in the fields of training and education. It was also decided that Pakistan would send a business delegation to Sri Lanka in the near future and feasibilities would be shared with the Sri Lankan business community. (Colombo Gazette)