Business Times

Maldives wants more tourism with Sri Lanka

The High Commissioner for the Maldives in Colombo has called for streamlining the regulatory framework in Sri Lanka and for joint tourism promotion between Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

The High Commissioner with the committee

The High Commissioner for the Maldives in Colombo, Ali Hussain Didi, speaking at the third Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka – Maldives Bilateral Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) held recently, also invited the business community in Sri Lanka to invest in the health and education sectors of the Maldives, said a chamber press release.

Immediate past President of the Council, Jayantissa Kehelpannala, said trade between Sri Lanka and the Maldives has seen significant value over the last five years. Throughout the period, exports from Sri Lanka to the Maldives have been higher than impors to Sri Lanka, resulting in a positive balance of trade between Sri Lanka and the Maldives. However, during 2009, exports have drastically decreased mainly due to the global financial crisis, while imports from the Maldives to Sri Lanka have shown a slight increase. The tourism sector has shown a slight increase in 2009 amounting to 31,890 tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka from the Maldives compared to 31,458 in 2008.

New President of the Council, Hussain Hashim, called for more lobbying with government institutions in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, through the CCC, on harmonising tariff structures.

The following committee was appointed for the period 2010 – 2011 at the Annual General Meeting: Office Bearers: President, Hussain Hashim, Vice President, Tikiri Ellepola, Vice President Niral Kadawatharatchi. Committee: Ceylon Biscuits Ltd., Chemical Industries (Colombo) PLC, Eastern & Allied Agencies, E.B. Creasy & Co. Ltd., John Keells Holdings PLC, HSBC, Nestle Lanka Ltd., Pyramid Wilmar Ltd. and Seylan Bank PLC.

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