The United Arab Emirates wishes to enhance bilateral trade and investments with Sri Lanka, its envoy in Sri Lanka, His Excellency Abdulhamid Abdulfattah K Al Mulla announced during a meeting with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, the country’s premier business chamber.
He expressed this interest, during a visit to the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce recently to discuss matters of mutual interest with Mrs. Dhara Wijayatilake, CEO of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Lilakshini De Mel, Senior Assistant Secretary General, responsible for matters relating to the Business Councils of the Chamber was also present at the meeting.
“There are many opportunities to increase trade and we need to look at how this can be done,’ the Ambassador said during the meeting.
His Excellency said that the UAE had opened a visa center in Colombo with the expectation of enabling the speedy issue of visit visas for Lankan businessmen, who wish to travel to the UAE on business purposes.
“We can provide a business visa within a few days, all matters would be finalized in Colombo’ the envoy added.
Mrs. Dhara Wijayatilake, CEO of the Chamber briefed His excellency on the upcoming Sri Lanka Investment and Business Conclave 2017, which is being organized by the Ceylon Chamber and scheduled to be held at the end of May 2017. She advised that it would be the most ideal event that will offer business delegations a complete insight into the investment environment in Sri Lanka.
The two-way trade between Sri Lanka and UAE during the year 2016 accounted for a total of US$ 1.3 billion, with the trade balance remaining in favor of UAE at US$ 793 million, largely owing Sri Lanka’s importation of oil from that country. Sri Lanka’s total export to UAE during the year under review accounted for US$ 274, with items such as Tea, Edible Preparations and Apparel counting as the main exports.