Economy, Domestic Economy

Tehran, Colombo Hold Trade Talks

Tehran, Colombo Hold Trade TalksTehran, Colombo Hold Trade Talks

Iran and Sri Lanka concluded the 11th session of their Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation in Colombo last week.  The first trade talks with Sri Lanka by a post-sanctions Iranian administration, the tightly scheduled one-day Colombo session, deliberated on a multitude of issues that spanned from trade, energy to mining, culture and health, Sri Lankan newspaper The Daily Mirror reported. In attendance were Iranian Energy & Water Minister Hamid Chitchian who was accompanied by a 30-member public and private sector delegation, as well as Sri Lanka’s Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen. “We call for Iranian investment and joint ventures in the industrial sectors,” Bathiudeen said.  According to Sri Lanka’s Department of Commerce, total trade between the two countries surpassed $1 billion in 2008 for the first time, then decreased to $162 million in 2015 due to the decline in Sri Lanka’s imports from Iran, especially on oil import. The major Sri Lankan export to Iran is tea, accounting for 83% of total exports in 2015.