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Pakistani Prime Minister delivering a special lecture at Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel

Sri Lanka and Pakistan are examining the possibility of setting up a Joint Investment Company and having a Currency Swap Arrangement, visiting Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif said yesterday.

Delivering a special lecture on ‘Sri Lanka-Pakistan Relations’ on the invitation of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS), Sharif said that the two countries have agreed on the inclusion of Services and Investments chapters in the bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

“This would enable our companies to form joint ventures for export to third countries. Given the strategic locations of our two countries, the opening of the services sector also holds a lot of potential which needs to be exploited. Exchange of business delegations and holding trade fairs would also play a crucial role in realizing this goal,” Pakistani Prime Minister who undertook a three-day official visit to the island from 4 to 6 January 2016, said.

Noting that TDAP, the Pakistani export promotion agency is organizing a Pakistan Single Country Exhibition in Colombo from 15-17 January 2016, he also invited the Export Development Board of Sri Lanka to organize a similar exhibition in Karachi.

“My government is willing to provide duty free and quota free access to large number of priority products of Sri Lankan exports to Pakistan. I also assure you that my government will support all endeavors by Sri Lankan business houses to market their products in Pakistan and enhance their business relations,” Sharif said at the event held at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel in Colombo.

He further added that when Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena visited Pakistan in April 2015, the two countries had decided to set a bilateral trade target of US $ 1 billion.

“To realize this objective, both countries have to work with greatest resolve and commitment. Many business delegations from Pakistan have visited Sri Lanka and vice versa. My Commerce Minister’s recent visit to Sri Lanka is a testimony to our serious endeavors to achieve the trade target of US$ 1 billion. My own visit is aimed at enhancing and energizing the economic content of our relationship,” he added.