Customs departments of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Sri Lanka have signed an agreement to boost the technical cooperation between the two agencies.
The UAE, represented by the Federal Customs Authority, FCA, and Sri Lanka Customs, have initialed the agreement on customs technical cooperation in Colombo, during a UAE delegation's visit to discuss ways to bolster cooperation, Emirates News Agency reported.
The agreement was signed by Saud Salem al-Aqrouby, FCA Head of the International Relations Department, and S. Rajendran, Additional Director of Sri Lankan Customs in the presence of Director-General of Sri Lankan Customs, Jagath P. Wijeweera, and several additional Directors-General and Deputy Directors in the Sri Lankan regulatory body.
Khalid Ali Al Bustani, FCA Acting Director-General, said, "The UAE is keen on enhancing and promoting cooperation with its trade partners worldwide, through signing customs technical cooperation agreements, applying the standards of corporate excellence to achieve the FCA's strategic goals, protecting society's security, facilitating trade and increasing cooperation with different countries across the world." He went on to say that these agreements maximize added value to the local economy by exchanging information and experience about customs shipments. This in turn promotes customs risk management between the UAE and its trade partners.
In its plan to enhance ties with foreign partners, the FCA relies on the location of the UAE as a global trade hub having strong trade relationships with most of the world's countries. In this field, the customs regulator is keen on concluding cooperation agreements in light of the UAE's position on the world trade map, Al-Bustani added.
The UAE has close trade relations with Sri Lanka, marked by growing trade, Al-Bustani explained, noting that Sri Lanka is one of the UAE's strategic partners.
Al-Aqroubi said that UAE-Sri Lankan bilateral trade set new heights from 2009 to the end of the first half of 2014. The value of mutual trade between both countries reached AED 7.6 billion (US$ 2 billion), of which UAE imports accounted for AED 3.4 billion, exports AED 1.8 billion and re-exports to Sri Lanka AED 1.5 billion.
He added that the agreement contributes to sharing experiences, enhancing economic cooperation and mutual trade, and protecting society from illegal trade practices through exchanging information about customs shipments between both countries.