Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen, undertook a visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain in order to strengthen and elevate the economic, commercial, trade, touristic and investment relations between the two countries as well as to participate as an invited Speaker at the International Institute of Inspiration Economy in Manama, Bahrain.

Minister Bathiudeen was accompanied to all the meetings, engagements and courtesy calls by the Ambassador of Sri Lanka, Dr A Saj U Mendis, and the Coordinating Secretary of the Minister, Riyaj Mohamed Bathivutheen. Bathiudeen also addressed an Investment Forum organized and coordinated by the Embassy of Sri Lanka, which consisted of over 60 select corporate leaders, business personalities and leading Sri Lankan entrepreneurs, mostly from the Bahrain Asian Traders Committee [BATC] and from the high profile Bahrain Chamber of Commerce of Industry [BCCI]. At the Investment Forum, both the Minister Bathiudeen and Ambassador Dr Mendis outlined and delineated the investment and economic scenario of the country and urged, particularly, the corporate leaders of the Chambers of Bahrain to visit Sri Lanka for the forthcoming “Sri Lanka Investment and Business Conclave 2016” scheduled to be held from 8 to10 March 2016, among others.

Bathiudeen and Zayed bin Rashid Alzayani discussed, broached, proposed and contemplated a myriad of issues relating to economic, commercial, touristic, trade and investments, thus endeavouring to deepen and to strengthen the bilateral relations in the commercial and economic sphere and province between the two countries. Bathiudeen outlined and highlighted the highly stable political and economic tapestry of the country, after the election of the Sirisena Administration in January of last year. He further added that tourism in Sri Lanka would be close to two million this year, given the vast touristic attractions as well as peace in the country. Bathiudeen also briefed and expounded to his counterpart Minister of the recent Parliamentary Elections of Sri Lanka held in August of last year in which the UNP was elected. He further added that the elections were highly transparent, fair and peaceful compared to that of the previous elections held in Sri Lanka.

Further, both the Ministers agreed to enhance and to boost the relations with greater and proactive cooperation, collaboration, facilitation and partnership. Bathiudeen stated that Sri Lanka is ideally positioned for Business Processing and Outsourcing [BPO] and Knowledge Processing and Outsourcing [KPO] sector as well as for the corporates and industries of Bahrain to have facilities in Sri Lanka. This would enable those corporates of Bahrain to have direct and easy access to the large market of Indian sub-continent, which accounts a population of well over 1.6 billion. Further, the corporates of Bahrain could reduce their cost of production drastically by outsourcing the facilities to Sri Lanka.
Minister Bathiudeen invited both the Crown Prince and the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism to visit Sri Lanka as Special Guests of the Government of Sri Lanka.

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