Sri Lanka has expressed keen interest to import 350Mt of rice at the rate of $340 /t besides 2,500Mt of cement on immediate basis.
Visiting Sri Lankan Minister for Trade, Marketing Development and Consumer Affairs, Bandula Gunawardhanthe expressed its country’s keenness in import of the aforesaid commodities from Pakistan at a meeting with the officials of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) on Tuesday.
DG Export Supply Management TDAP Jawaid Anwar Khan, DG Policy and Planning, DG Corporate Communication Affairs Mrs Rizwan Khan, ED Marketing Riaz Khan and other officials including Dr
Yousuf Khan, Saifullah Khairi, Asad Zahoor, and Junaid Yousuf also attended the meeting.
The Sri Lankan minister was accompanied by Sri Lankan Consul General V.S Sidath Kumar and K.D Anura Shantha.
"We have met the members of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (Reap) to finalise the deal for rice import, however progress on rate finalisation is hoped to come about soon," the minister said. Regarding the import of cement from Pakistan, he said that Sri Lanka presently needed 2,500 metric tonnes of cement and hoped that TDAP would help it procure the commodity.
The Sri Lankan minister also shown interest in the purchase of Pakistani steel. However, he emphasised on the purchase of rice and cement on immediate basis.
He said that Sri Lanka was also going to propose a single currency for entire Saarc region like euro in the Europe.
V.S Sidath Kumar pointed out that bilateral trade since the signing of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) had declined by 30 percent.
He said that various trade delegations from Sri Lanka participated in My Karachi Exhibition this year and many of them had negotiated on trade of various commodities with Pakistani traders. He added that a Sri Lankan trade delegation was expected to visit Pakistan in March-April next year.
Jawaid Anwar Khan said that TDAP would make efforts to persuade the local rice and cement exporters to finalise deal on fair and immediate basis and in this regard he added TDAP would hold meetings with them.
He said that presently, Pakistan was exporting cement at $66 per tonne to India, while there was only few local firms having the capacity to export cement in bulk quantity.