Pakistan’s Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan is arriving in Sri Lanka on a three-day official visit to boost bilateral investment and trade between the two friendly countries.
He would be accompanied by a high powered business delegation consisting of cement, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, sugar, shipping, construction and manufacturing sector companies.
The visit of Commerce Minister is planned, in furtherance to the understanding reached between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, to take the bilateral trade and investment to new heights, during latter’s visit to Islamabad in April 2015.
During his stay in Sri Lanka, Khurram Dastgir Khan is scheduled to meet Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena as well as Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The Minister will also call on Sri Lankan Minister for Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Public Administration and Management Ranjith Madduma Bandara and Minister for Megapolis and Western Development Champika Ranawaka during the visit.
Khurram Dastgir Khan will also participate in the first official high level Business Interaction Forum between the two countries organized by the Export Development Board of Sri Lanka. The Pakistan Sri Lanka Business Interaction Forum is planned to be held in Colombo on 11th November 2015, with the participation of prominent business representatives of both sides.
Khurram Dastgir Khan has revitalized Pakistan’s trade diplomacy at the Ministry of Commerce. He spearheaded the successful campaign to obtain GSP+ trade preferences for Pakistan from the European Union.
His vigorous diplomacy has led to start of Pakistan’s negotiations for free trade agreements with Turkey and Thailand. Under his stewardship, the Ministry of Commerce has revamped national trade protection laws, obtained approval for Pakistan’s accession to TIR convention, and has successfully concluded institutional reforms of the Ministry itself as well as its attached departments. He has steered the drive for a qualitative shift towards value-addition and diversification in Pakistan’s exports.
Khurram Dastgir Khan was elected from his native city of Gujranwala to the National Assembly of Pakistan in 2008 and re-elected in 2013. During the 2008-13 Parliament, he earned distinction as Chair of the Standing Committee on Commerce and as a member of the Public Accounts Committee.
Pakistan is the second largest trading partner of Sri Lanka in the SAARC region where as Sri Lanka is the first country to sign free trade agreement (FTA) with Pakistan in July 2002 with its operationalization in June, 2005.
Pakistan is an important export market for tea, followed by copra, rubber, betel leaves and tamarind; similarly, for Pakistan, Sri Lanka is an important market for cement, GI Pipe, textiles, pharmaceuticals, machinery and agricultural items.
To showcase the whole range of Pakistan’s industrial sector to the Sri Lankan consumers, the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan is organizing Pakistan Single Country Exhibition in BMICH Colombo from 15-17 January 2016. More than 150 Pakistani companies are expected to participate in the exhibition. (Media Release)