Consul General of Sri Lanka Jagath Abeywarna has said that Sri Lankan trade minister will be bringing a delegation comprising representatives of around 40 to 50 companies to Karachi and Islamabad on January 23, 2022 to explore more avenues of cooperation and collaboration with the business community of Pakistan. “The Sri Lankan delegation will explore the possibility of enhancing trade and investment ties with Pakistani counterparts, besides exploring tourism opportunities available in Pakistan. Most of the Sri Lankan tourists, who have been regularly visiting India and Nepal, were not much aware of the historical Buddhist sites in Pakistan”, he added while exchanging views at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI), said a statement issued on Thursday. President KCCI Muhammad Idrees, Vice President KCCI Qazi Zahid Hussain, Chairman of KCCI’s Diplomatic Missions & Embassies Liaison Subcommittee Ziaul Arfeen, Former President KCCI Majyd Aziz, Former VP Shamsul Islam Khan and KCCI Managing Committee Members also attended the meeting. The Sri Lankan CG sought KCCI’s cooperation in arranging B2B meetings during the visit of the Sri Lankan delegation. “It is going to be a main activity as we haven’t received such a big delegation to Pakistan since long.” He also advised KCCI to arrange a similar delegation to Sri Lanka as exchange of trade delegations was the only way to improve trade and investment ties. He was of the view that there is a lot of potential for two-way trade and investment ties between the two friendly countries. “As Pakistan has very strong pharmaceutical and textiles industries, these can be exported to Sri Lanka as we import almost all types of pharmaceutical products and fabrics.” He said that Pakistan and Sri Lanka are friendly nations who have been supporting each other in difficult situations. During the civil war in Sri Lanka, Pakistan was one of the main countries which provided assistance to Sri Lanka. He assured that they will look into the possibility of inviting a maximum number of Sri Lankan companies to participate in My Karachi Exhibition which was scheduled to be organised at Karachi Expo Centre from Feb 11 to Feb 13, 2022. KCCI President Muhammad Idrees, in his remarks, assured that the Karachi Chamber would warmly welcome and fully facilitate Sri Lankan delegation during their forthcoming visit to Karachi by organizing B2B meetings. He pointed out that Pakistan and Sri Lanka have been enjoying very cordial relations for many years. “Pakistan was the 2nd largest trading partner of Sri Lanka in South Asia and we hope to become the first largest.” He noted that during 2020, goods exported by Pakistan to Sri Lanka totalled $324.7 million while goods imported by Pakistan from Sri Lanka were recorded at $78.9 million. “The real trade potential was much higher than what the current statistics reveal and we are determined to unlock this potential through combined efforts and close coordination with the Sri Lankan side.” He urged businessmen and investors to capitalize on the opportunities in the agriculture, textile, tourism, real estate, energy and IT sectors which were attractive investment sectors in both countries. “Moreover, Sri Lanka has good skills to cut, polish and shape gemstones into world class jewellery. Jewellers in Pakistan can avail this opportunity by entering into joint ventures which would enable them to make world class jewellery.