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Sri Lanka to Send Business Mission
Economy, Domestic Economy

Sri Lanka to Send Business Mission

Sri Lankan officials are setting up a business delegation to send to Iran, as President Maithripala Sirisena is scheduled for a visit to Tehran later this month to expand relations with the Islamic Republic. “President Maithripala Sirisena’s forthcoming tour of Iran could open many new doors of opportunities for Lankan businesses,” Sri Lanka’s Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen was quoted as saying by ColomboPage. “Iran-Sri Lanka relations have strengthened in recent years but bilateral trade growth has not met our expectations despite the end of sanctions. In fact, in 2015, our total trade with Iran was $162 million, a small amount in comparison to previously higher trade levels.” The minister noted that the president’s tour of Iran could help get bilateral trade levels back on track. Prior to sanctions, trade between Sri Lanka and Iran stood at a high of $1.6 billion in 2011, but in 2015 it totaled $162 million, of which $155 million were exports to Iran from Sri Lanka. Some 85% of the exports were Ceylon tea, followed by coconuts, bananas and spices.

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