Sri Lanka and Pakistan to boost trade

Feb 11, 2012 (LBO) - Sri Lanka and Pakistan will boost bilateral trade to over two billion dollars by 2015 and promote the use of local currencies, a joint statement issued at the end of a visit by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Islamabad said. Before the creation of state-owned dollar pegged central banks in South Asia mostly in line with the failed Bretton Woods system of unstable pegs, the Indian rupee was the international currency of the region including the Persian gulf area.

But local currencies depreciated and started to generate high inflation after state owned central banks were used to print money and deficit spend by post-independent rulers of the region.

"Both sides attached importance to the Free Trade Agreement between Pakistan and Sri Lanka and considered this to be a valuable instrument to optimally utilize their considerable economic potential," the statement said.

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"They expressed satisfaction on the work of their Joint Economic Commission in taking all requisite steps to enhance two-way trade."

Pakistani exporters have voice concern recently over tariff hikes in food stuffs imported by Sri Lanka citizens.

Pakistani farmers produce better quality fruits than Sri Lankan farmers who critics say are give

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