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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2707

Sri Lanka-Egypt Bilateral Trade Chamber Council will Foster Increased Trade and Tourism, Foreign Minister Bogollagama

Cairo, 10 April, (Asiantribune.com): Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama discussed with Rashid Mohammed Rashid, Minister of Trade and Industry, issues related to the expansion of trade and investment between the two countries. The highlight of Minister's visit to Egypt was the signing of an MOU relating to tourism and agreement concluded between the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, which facilitated the establishment of an Egypt- Sri Lanka Bilateral Chamber Council. The Minister remarked that the Agreement would pave the way for increased ties between the private sectors of the two countries.

Minister Bogollagama commenting on the MOU on Tourism Cooperation signed between the two countries yesterday said that such understandings would be of great importance in exchanging experiences for the development of this vital sector in both countries.

Referring to the reduction of tariffs by the Egyptian authorities on tea exports from Sri Lanka from 30% to 2% in 2007, the Sri Lankan Minister said that the private sector would have to work towards regaining the market that they previously enjoyed. He added that the tea sector was of critical importance to the Sri Lankan economy and regaining the market share in Egypt would be of immense benefit for the people of the country.

Minister Bogollagama also mentioned that the sectors of gems and jewellery, rubber and coconut related products and fertilizer were areas in which further cooperation was needed between the two countries. He requested that Egypt looks at Sri Lanka in the context of SAARC, the sub continent and as the centre point between Far East and the Middle East. He said that Sri Lanka has concluded FTA's with India and Pakistan and could be used as a springboard for access to the sub continent. Minister Bogollagama broached Minister Rashid on the opportunities available in the stock market of Sri Lanka, encouraging investments in Sri Lanka. He also outlined the guarantees available in Sri Lanka for the protection of foreign investments.

Minister Rashid suggested that a private sector delegation from Egypt visit Sri Lanka early in order to follow up and assess the available potential for the expansion of trade and investment between the two countries. Welcoming the suggestion, the Foreign Minister assured Minister Rashid that Sri Lanka would be glad to receive such a delegation in Sri Lanka.

The Foreign Minister was accompanied on this visit by a high level private sector delegation including Prema Cooray, Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Harry Jayawardena, Chairman/Aitken Spence & Co. Ltd., Sicille P. C. Kotelawala, Deputy Chairperson, Ceylinco Consolidated and Chris Nonis, Chairman, Mackwoods Ltd. Government representatives that were present included Ibrahim Ansar, Ambassador of Sri Lanka for Egypt and senior officials of the Foreign Ministry

Minister Bogollagama also discussed the convening of the Joint Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation in Colombo this year and concluded the discussion by extending an invitation to Minister Rashid to visit Sri Lanka at a mutually convenient time.

- Asian Tribune -

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