Islamabad, August 23, 2013 (PPI-OT): President Asif Ali Zardari has called upon business communities and Chambers of Commerce of Pakistan and Sri Lanka to play its vital role in fully exploiting the huge trade and business potential the two countries offer in diverse fields while making optimum utilization of the available trade facilities and mechanisms between the two sides.
The existing trade volume between the two countries can easily be jacked up to US$ 2 billion by harnessing the huge trade potential in various fields especially financial and banking sector, science and technology, defence, agriculture, tourism, gems and Jewellery.
The President said this while speaking to Prof. G.L. Peiris, External Affairs Minister of Sri Lanka, who called on him at the Aiwan-e-Sadr today.
The meeting was attended by Senator Salim H. Mandviwala, Senator Ferhatullah Babar, Spokesperson to the President, Ms. Nasreen Haque, Secretary to the President, Mr. Jalil Abbas Jilani, Foreign Secretary, Mr. Noor Muhammad Jadmani, Special Secretary (AP), and Mr. Asif Durrani, additional secretary. Air Chief Marshal ® Jayalath Weerakkody, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka was also present.
Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar said that Pak- Sri Lanka bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual interest were discussed during the meeting.
Discussing bilateral ties, the President said that Pakistan was keen to further deepen and diversify the trade and commercial ties with Sri Lanka and urged the need for the two countries to make fully operational the Free Trade Agreement, the Customs Cooperation Agreement and the Bilateral Investment Treaty between the two countries.
The President also urged for early conclusion of bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which he said would help broadening and deepening of economic and business ties by including key elements of investment, services, customs cooperation and standardization.
Recalling his meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President said that the two countries have always enjoyed special bonds of affinity and the relations between the two countries transcends the governmental level and permeate to the level of the peoples, parliamentarians, business communities and others.
The President said that Pak- Sri Lanka bilateral ties have also been marked by a measure of consistency and commonality of views on important regional and global issues and that the two countries have stood together and supported each other in all important matters concerning our two countries.
The Spokesperson said that the President expressed satisfaction on the level of Pak- Sri Lankan close cooperation at the multilateral forums especially the UN and also at the SAARC level and emphasized on continued support to each other at regional and international fora.
The President said that Pakistan has always supported Sri Lanka in its endeavour to defeat terrorism and reiterated that Pakistan would continue extending support to Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council and UN Security Council.
Prof. G.L. Peiris, External Affairs Minister of Sri Lanka thanked the President for meeting and said that Sri Lanka values its relations with Pakistan and desires to further deepen and broaden it. He said that the two countries would continue to stand together at regional and multilateral forums.
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