Jan 26, Colombo: A Pakistani trade delegation of fruit and vegetable producers and exporters is visiting Sri Lanka to explore the ways and means to enhance bilateral trade between the two countries, the High Commission of Pakistan in Colombo said in a release today.
During their stay in Sri Lanka, the 6-member delegation led by the General Secretary of the Federation of Chambers and Agriculture, Faqir Nusrat Hussain, will be holding meetings with the Sri Lankan fruit and dry fruit importers as well as other stakeholders to explore the possibilities of enhancing bilateral trade.
The meetings scheduled with the Sri Lankan businesses are aimed at providing an opportunity for the local businessmen to gain awareness and knowledge about the prospects for expansion of the two-way trade between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the fruit and vegetable sector.
The delegation with an objective of fully utilizing the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and Sri Lanka will also explore the opportunities in the tea sector. They will visit Kandy to interact with the local Chamber of Commerce, Tea Research Board, and to visit Tea Factories and Spice gardens, the High commission said.
The participants of the delegation specialize in the production and export of various fruits and vegetables including Guava, Chikoo (Sepatila), Mango, Citrus, Berry, Potato, Dry fruits, Gurr, Tobacco (cigar), Fresh and dry dates etc.
Since the FTA between the two countries came into effect in June, 2005, the bilateral trade has been strengthened.
According to the High Commission, Pakistan has now become the second largest trade partner for Sri Lanka in the South Asian region.
Under FTA, Sri Lanka and Pakistan have agreed to offer preferential market access to each other’s exports by way of granting tariff concessions. Sri Lanka is enabled to enjoy duty free market access on 206 products in the Pakistani market, while Pakistan, gained duty free access on 102 products in the Sri Lankan market.
“The Pakistani agricultural products will provide a cheaper and higher quality alternative to Sri Lankan imports from far-away countries and would also add diversity in the Sri Lankan markets to the advantage of consumers,” the High Commission said.