It is time for the revival of Iran-Sri Lanka trade-back to its original volumes. As trade restrictions faced by Iran being eased progressively, we believe it is now the correct time to restart our bilateral trade," said Hussain Ebrahim Khani, Charge d' Affairs, Iranian Embassy in Colombo.
The new Iranian Charge d' Affairs Khani was addressing Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce yesterday (April 01) during his courtesy call on Minister Bathiudeen at EDB, Colombo.
According to the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka, bilateral trade between the two countries showed a positive trend from 2002 to 2008, and topped $ 1619.42 Mn in 2011, after which it settled at $ 216.47 Mn in 2013.
Despite the declining trade total, for the first time, in 2013, bilateral trade turned in favour of Sri Lanka. In 2013, Sri Lanka's leading exports to Iran were tea, coconuts, cashew nuts, coconut fibre, lead oxides and apparel while main imports from Iran were plastics, electrical transformers, Insulated wire and cable, and bulldozers.
"It is important that the President is leading Sri Lanka - Iran trade revival by activating the Joint Economic Commission," Khani said. "We are pleased that the President is shouldering the great responsibility of Iran-Sri Lanka bilateral trade cooperation activities and we praise your efforts to enhance it, he added.
As trade restrictions faced by Iran now being eased progressively, we believe it is the correct time to revive our bilateral trade with Sri Lanka. We realized that the new climate in Iran can help boost bilateral cooperation with Sri Lanka. We at our side are ever ready to cooperate and help in your trade needs at any time. It is time that we both iron out existing trade issues and begins our trade promotion efforts with each other. Our trade restrictions related talks with some global powers are also progressing well."
"Sri Lanka extends its warm welcome to you" said Minister Bathiudeen, addressing the new Iranian Charge d' Affairs Khani, and added: "I am pleased that your trade restrictions related talks with some global powers are progressing well. It is time that we jointly work to regain our strong trade levels from the current levels of $ 216.47 Mn, the Minister said.