Mon, Dec 5, 2016 | updated 03:57 AM IST

Pak seeks to expand trade with Lanka, proposes Mutual Recognition Agreement

Updated: Jul 22, 2016 13:43 IST

Nairobi, July 22 (ANI): Sri Lankan Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen said that Pakistan has proposed for a new, turnaround level trade between the two countries.

Pakistani Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan suggested widening the trade with Sri Lanka during a bilateral meeting with Minister Bathiudeen on the sidelines of 14th Session of the UN Conference on Trade and Development in Nairobi, Kenya, reports Colombo Page.

"Our analysis is that our two economies do not compete with each other and therefore we can aggressively open up to move from our current "few items trade basket" to a much larger trade scheme," Khan said during the meeting.

"We believe we can start our new rounds with a Mutual Recognition Agreement. We have an opportunity here-Let us walk the talk!" he said.

Khan also noted that the Pakistan single country exhibition held in Colombo was a great success and generated new trade interest among Pakistani businesses adding that "We also invite stronger Lankan trade and business delegations to Pakistan so that we can start at B2B levels."

Bathiudeen welcoming the trade expansion offer, assured Khan that Sri Lanka is working to send a strong trade and B2B delegation to Pakistan in the near future and said he will inform the government leaders of the offers including the call for a Mutual Recognition Agreement.

"A significant improvement in our bilateral trade has been recorded since the Pakistan Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (PSFTA) came into force in June 2005. Still, there appears to be unrealized trade potentials that we can jointly explore," he said.

Total trade between the two countries increased to USD 370.38 million in 2015 from 2014's USD 353 million, retaining Pakistan's position as the second largest SAARC trade partner of Sri Lanka. (ANI)