Islamabad: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has sought further enhancement of bilateral ties with Sri Lanka and welcomed the convening of the Joint Economic Commission in Colombo, which is to be held after a gap of six years.
Gilani on Tuesday said that the JEC should meet every year to expand the scope of bilateral economic and commercial relations.
Both the countries have been engaged in concerted efforts to increase bilateral trade since the signing of a Free Trade Agreement. Pakistan`s exports to Sri Lanka have touched the USD 300 million mark while imports are around USD 50 million, reported the Associated Press of Pakistan.
Gilani told a Sri Lankan delegation led by Rishad Bathiudeen, minister for industry and commerce, that Pakistan looked forward to greater cooperation in the fields of education and science and technology.
Referring to the high quality of Sri Lankan gems and jewellery, the Prime Minister sought technical assistance to develop Pakistan`s gems and jewellery industry.
He was happy to note the enthusiasm with which the people of Sri Lanka had responded to the Gandhara artefacts exhibition for which Pakistan had sent Buddha`s relics to Colombo last month.
The Buddha relics were displayed on the occasion of 2,600th anniversary of the attainment of enlightenment by Buddha.
Bathiudeen, who belongs to the northern part of Sri Lanka, was confident that after years of war against terrorism, his country was now on path of rehabilitation and sustained peace.
He said that Sri Lanka looked forward to support and cooperation from Pakistan.