Sri Lanka, UAE to enhance trade relations

Nov 26, Colombo: The Foreign Trade Minister of United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi ended her four-day visit to Sri Lanka today with a pledge to enhance bilateral trade cooperation between the two countries.

The UAE minister who led a 17-member business delegation to Colombo at the invitation of Sri Lanka’s Minister of Industry Commerce Rishad Bathiyutheen participated in a first ever high powered UAE-Sri Lanka Business Forum.

Addressing the forum on Thursday Minister Sheikha Lubna said UAE is interested in Sri Lanka’s tourism, education and health sectors

“We are interested in Sri Lanka’s tourism, education and health sectors. We also want to open doors to SMEs of both countries and take part in more and more business forums and exchange trade and business delegations,” the Minister has said.

The UAE is the largest Foreign Direct Investor in Sri Lanka among the Gulf economies. The trade exchange reached US$ 364 million last year.

Currently, UAE-Sri Lanka trade turnover stands at 548.4 million U.S. dollars, of which Sri Lankan exports to the UAE amounted to 246.2 million U.S. dollars, making the UAE one of the key trading partners in the Middle East.

The major UAE conglomerates operating in Sri Lanka Etisalat, Al Ghuraia and Al Futaim contribute to Sri Lanka’s corporate sector outlook significantly.

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