Iran has urged and invited Sri Lanka to take part in trade shows in that country in a bid to ramp up trade and exports and enhance export income, according to discussions held between Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen and Iranian Ambassador Mahmoud Rahimi Gorji in Colombo last week.
The two countries also ”identified that direct business to business contacts on a mutual basis and market access on both sides could be improved ‘vastly’ from that of current levels, as trade between both countries stood at US $ 808.63 million in 2010”, according to a statement from the Ministry.
According to the Commerce Department of Sri Lanka, trade between Sri Lanka and Iran has continued to show a positive trend since 2001 despite the balance of trade between two countries being heavily and continuously in favour of Iran over the years (mainly owing to oil imports from there).
“As part of strengthening Sri Lanka-Iran trade cooperation, I invite direct participation of Sri Lankan businesses for forthcoming trade shows scheduled across Iran,” Mr Gorji was quoted as saying during the meeting. The Minister said the main concern of Sri Lankan exporters is the lack of direct access to Iranian markets, and invited Iran to send a high level business delegation for the ‘Sri Lanka Expo 2012’ to be held in March 2012.