Director of Qatar International Cooperation in Economic and Trade Agreements, Ahmed Ahen with the Qatari trade delegation. Picture by Thushara Fernando
Trade volume between Qatar and Sri Lanka, which currently stands at US$ 61 million, does not correspond to the immense opportunities available for bilateral trade between the two counties, Director of Qatar International Cooperation in Economic and Trade Agreements, Ahmed Ahen said.
Ahen who is currently in Sri Lanka with a high profile Qatari delegation, made these views speaking at the second session of Sri Lanka-Qatar Joint Committee on Economic, Commercial and Technical Cooperation, held in Colombo yesterday.
While highlighting the need for both countries to take concerted and effective measures to give a further fillip to existing bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Qatar, Ahen urged Sri Lankan exporters to utilise ports and logistic facilities available in Qatar to send their products to Iran, Iraq, Oman and other major exports markets.
“Qatar sees Sri Lanka as a strategic partner and Qatari businessmen are eyeing potential investment opportunities available in Sri Lanka in order to create much-needed business links with Sri Lankan businessmen, leading to the establishment of partnerships for the benefit of both countries.”
He also expressed his country’s interest in sharing Qatari experience in a number of areas such as technology, energy and other potential areas in Sri Lanka in which Qatar achieved remarkable accomplishments.
Sri Lanka’s Director General of Commerce, Sonali Wijeratne, speaking at the event revealed that there has been a fluctuating trend in total trade turnover between the two countries since 2014 up to now. According to Wijeratne, in 2014 total trade turnover between the two countries stood at US$ 77.65 million and US$ 48 million in 2015 and US$ 44 million in 2016 respectively. Furthermore, total trade volume during the January–June 2017 period amounted to US$ 19.30 million.
The first day’s session which commenced in the presence of respective counterparts between the two countries, explored various trade, investment, tourism and economic opportunities available between the two countries.
Sources : dailynews