Trade Ties

May 22, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka and the Maldives plan to set up a bilateral business council this week to promote trade and investment between the two countries, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said Tuesday. The Maldives is Sri Lanka’s the third largest trading partner in south Asia with the trade balance being in favour of the latter.

There was potential to export skilled labour and products like rice, fresh fruits, vegetables, miscellaneous edible preparations, coconut, rubber and plastic products, the chamber said in a statement.

The Business Council, the 19th such bilateral council to be formed under the chamber’s aegis, is to be launched on May 25 during the visit of Maldivian Minister of Economic Development and Trade Mohammed Jaleel.

“We had identified Maldives as a potential market and our members too felt that they need a formal linkage to emerge into this market,” said Prema Cooray, Secretary General of the CCC.

Sri Lanka’s main exports to the Maldives are textiles and clothing, fruits and vegetables, jewellery, ceramic products and tea.

It imports mainly Maldive fish, cement clinker, Yellow Fin Tuna, flour, fish meal and frozen fish.

Among the objectives of the