Pak Prez favours barter trade with Lanka

President Asif Ali Zardari stresses on bilateral trade through barter trade.

Colombo: Pakistan and Sri Lanka should boost bilateral trade and economic cooperation through barter trade and currency exchange, President Asif Ali Zardari has said.

Zardari, who is on a four-day official visit to the country, told Sri Lankan parliamentarians that he wants a "new and unconventional phase of economic cooperation" between both the nations, according to his spokesperson Farhatullah Babar.

"High water mark of the meetings was a decision to reinvigorate the Joint Economic Commission and task it to work out modalities for a new and unconventional phase of economic cooperation marked by barter trade, currency exchange and banking interchanges," Babar told reporters on Sunday.

Earlier, he was welcomed by Speaker Chamal Rajapksa at the Parliament, where he attended a meeting of the Sri Lanka-Pakistan Parliamentarians` Friendship Association.

"The President (Zardari) met with MPs in the Sri Lankan Parliament," a Pakistani High Commission official said.
Zardari also held talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapakse.
"Two countries have common positions on many matters at regional and multilateral forums and relations can be strengthened through the Sri Lanka, Pakistan Parliamentarians` Friendship Association," Rajapaksha said after a meeting with Zardari last evening, according to the Sri Lankan president`s office here.