Pakistan and Sri Lanka have pledged to realize the goal of achieving a $1 billion bilateral trade target and to work to broaden and deepen the Pakistan-Sri Lank Free Trade Agreement.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had a meeting with the Pakistani business community attending Pakistan Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Conference 2021 in Colombo today.
The business community appreciated the visit of the Prime Minister to Sri Lanka and thanked the premier for this productive engagement with Sri Lankan Government and businesses. The Pakistani business community expressed their view that both Sri Lankan and Pakistani businesses are well-placed to work together and harness the potential connected to trade and investment.
The business community shared various proposals for enhancement in trade and investment between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The Prime Minister appreciated the proposals of the business community and assured that the Government would take all possible steps to facilitate the traders and investors.
Prime Minister reiterated Pakistan’s support for the socio-economic development of Sri Lanka in line with the vision of a peaceful neighborhood.
The two sides reviewed the extensive engagement that exists between the two countries in promoting cultural linkages, human resource development, and capacity building in diverse areas as well as educational and technical cooperation. The Pakistan side announced 100 scholarships in the field of medicines (MBBS and BDS) as part of the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Higher Education Cooperation Programme (PSLHECP). The Sri Lankan side appreciated the cooperation being extended by Pakistan in human resource development and capacity building.
While realizing the existence of great potential of religious tourism to Buddhist archeological sites and noting the close ancient and cultural ties dating back to Gandhara civilization, the two sides underscored the importance of enhancing cooperation in the field of tourism and highlighted the benefits of sharing expertise in the hospitality industry, including training and capacity building.
The Pakistan side announced its initiative of establishing the Asian Civilization and Culture Centre at the University of Peradeniya, Kandy.
Both sides recognized the importance of enhancing air connectivity to promote people-to-people contact, tourism, trade, and culture.
They expressed satisfaction over the existing bilateral cooperation in the field of defense and noted that the elevation of staff-level talks to Defence Dialogue has further provided an opportunity to expand security sector ties.
Prime Minister announced a new 50 million dollars’ defense credit line facility. Realizing the need to strengthen parliamentary cooperation, Imran Khan and his Sri Lankan Counterpart jointly acknowledged the reconstitution of the Sri Lanka-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Association.
Both sides reiterated their commitment to the principles and objectives of the SAARC Charter and stressed the need of SAARC Member countries to build on convergences, for the greater good of the people in the region.
Prime Minister Imran Khan underscored the need for peaceful resolution of outstanding disputes through constructive dialogue in accordance with international legitimacy.
In the context of regional connectivity, Prime Minister Imran Khan highlighted the opportunities presented by China-Pakistan Economic Corridor for regional economic growth and prosperity.
Sri Lanka thanked Pakistan for the tremendous assistance extended to the repatriation of stranded Sri Lankans in Pakistan since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic and both sides underscored the need for collective efforts to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Sri Lankan Prime Minister thanked Pakistan for its constant support to safeguard the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of his country. During the visit, five Memorandums of Understanding were signed between the two countries.
Imran Khan thanked Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa for the warm hospitality extended to him and his delegation and extended an invitation to the President and the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka to visit Pakistan.
PM arrived in Colombo yesterday for a two-visit. This is his first visit to Sri Lanka since taking office.