Iraq lifts ban on Sri Lanka cocopeat: commerce ministry

Feb 28, 2014 (LBO) – Iraq has lifted a ban on coconut fibre pith exports from Sri Lanka and is has also agreed to relaxing restrictions on Ceylon Tea, the ministry of industry and commerce said. Sri Lanka’s minister of industry and commerce Rishad Bathiudeen had led a delegation to Baghdad for two days of talks starting February 24 under the Sri Lanka Iraq Joint Committee for Economic Cooperation (JEC) sessions.

Iraqi team was led by Minister of Trade, Kheer-allah Hassan babaker Muhammad. According to the Department of Sri Lanka, the value of total trade between the two

The ending of the ban on Sri Lankan cocpeat, a growth medium will also help horticultural exports as the ban had hit the island’s exports of foliage to Iraq, the commerce ministry said.

Bilateral trade between the two countries had grown from 8.72 million US dollars in 2003 to 89.99 million in 2013.

Sri Lanka exported goods totalling 89.80 million dollars to Iraq but has imported only 0.19 million dollars.

The Iraqi side had agreed to “facilitate direct tea imports from Sri Lanka” the statement said, without elaborating.

The commerce ministry said about 15,000 metric tonnes of tea was being indirec