Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi Monday underlined the need to capitalize on the immense goodwill that exists between Pakistan and Sri Lanka by expanding cooperation across diverse areas, including trade and investment, tourism, culture, education, defence and agriculture, etc.
The foreign minister received Minister of Trade of Sri Lanka, Dr. Bandula Gunawardhana and State Minister for Regional Cooperation Mr. Tharaka Balasuriya at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Dr. Gunawardhana along with an important trade delegation is visiting Pakistan from January 20-27, Foreign Office Spokesperson said in a press release.
The foreign minister also highlighted the importance of strengthening the existing fraternal relations between the two countries through high-level exchanges.
Recalling the prime minister’s visit to Sri Lanka in February 2021, Qureshi said that all efforts must be made to enhance bilateral trade relations through optimal utilization of the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA), particularly by expanding interaction between the business communities on both sides, and joint ventures and investments in high potential sectors.The foreign minister noted that deepening economic cooperation through proactive economic diplomacy was a top priority for the government in the context of its policy focus on geo-economics. Both sides also agreed to continue close collaboration in multilateral fora and to strengthen regional cooperation. Reciprocating the sentiments, Dr. Bandula Gunawardhana thanked the Government of Pakistan for warm hospitality and the goodwill towards Sri Lanka at all levels. He appreciated Pakistan’s consistent friendship and support for Sri Lanka and noted that his visit was aimed at further advancing mutually beneficial economic and trade relations. Sri Lanka was keen to expand ties in the whole range of sectors including ICT, pharmaceuticals.–APP