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History About Pakistan – Sri Lanka Business Forum

Pakistan – Sri Lanka Business Forum (PSLBF) was launched on February 09, 2005 when Her Excellency, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Pakistan Sri Lanka Business Forum (PSLBF) and Sri-Lankan Business Council. PSLBF has its Headquarters in Karachi and eventually chapters would be established in other cities of Pakistan.

The aims and objectives of the Forum shall be the encouragement, furtherance and promotion of business, mutual understanding and friendly relations between the industrial and business communities of Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has in principle agreed to be the partners in Sri Lanka and extend all support, cooperation and assistance. The Forum shall be non-political, non-profit and non-partisan.

The establishment of PSLBF immediately ushered the colorful historical events simultaneously as follows:-

  1. The President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and the Prime Minister of Pakistan at a glittering ceremony on February 09, 2005 in Islamabad signed the First Free Trade Agreement between the two countries.
  2. The salient features of FTA are :-

    a ) FTA promises to bring two SAARC nations more closer economically, politically and culturally.

    b ) FTA removes barriers to trade and provides a legal framework for them to conduct and expand business.

    c ) FTA immediately gives duty free access to =02 tariff lines for Sri Lankan goods and 206 tariff lines for Pakistani commodities.

    d ) Pakistani business houses can import from Sri Lanka duty free “natural rubber“; “all coconuts products”; “spices”; “natural graphite; “paper and paper products”; “copper and aluminium products”; Pakistan has granted zero duty quota for 10,000 m/tons Tea, 1200 m/tons of Betal leaves @ preferential marjin of 35%; 6000 m/tons of Basmati rice and 1000 m/tons of potatoes per annum.

  3. Pakistan Sri Lankan Business Forum and the Sri Lankan Pakistan Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding. The MOU was signed by Mr. Abdul Rauf Tabani, Voice Chairman of Tabani Group and Deva Radrigo, President of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in presence of following dignitaries:-
  4. I ) President of Sri Lanka Her Excellency, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.

    II ) Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar

    III ) Federal Minister of Pakistan Mr. Liaquat Jatoi

    IV ) High Commissioner of Sri Lanka General Srilal Weerasooriya

    V ) Mr. Majyd Aziz, Founder Chairman of PSLBF

    VI ) Prominent businessmen Mr. Muhammad Yaqub Tabani, Mr. Aziz Memon, Mr. Farukh Mazhar and Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka, Mr. Obaid and Mr. Pervez Hanif, Sohail Afzal of FPCCI etc.

    The Salient features of this MOU will give access to both the Governments and business houses of both the countries for promotion of bilateral trade, establishment of Air-links by private Airlines and extension of Sri Lankan Airlines operation on Lahore-Colombo route and investment opportunities for Pakistanis in setting-up in Sri-Lanka flour-mills, pharmaceutical plants, software, hosiery, undertaking mega construction development projects; shipping and cargo handling endeavors, and Trading Houses etc. and to allow Sri Lankan citizens for grant of Visas to them on arrival.

PAKISTAN SRI LANKA BUSINESS FORUM
Press Release
Sri Lankan President to witness signing of MOU

Majyd Aziz, Founder Chairman, Pakistan Sri Lanka Business Forum, has announced that Sri Lankan President, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, would witness the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Forum and the Sri-Lankan Business Council of The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in Islamabad on Wednesday. He said that Mr Abdul Rauf Tabani, Vice Chairman of Tabani Group and Founder President of the Forum, and Mr P. D. Rodrigo, Vice Chairman of the Chamber, would ink the MOU on behalf of their organizations. He said that the President would address the august gathering and that the Forum members would be presenting the Pakistani business community’s viewpoint for her consideration.

Majyd Aziz further added that the Forum has been established on the initiative of the Sri Lankan High Commissioner, General Srilal Weerasooriya, and would be the exclusive bilateral entity that would be recognized by the government and the trade organizations of Sri Lanka. The Forum would have as members both Pakistani enterprises as well as Sri Lankans involved in trade and industry in Pakistan.

Majyd Aziz also stated that the signing of the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries and the opportunities that would ensue from this new phase of bilateral trade regime would further strengthen and establish the trade contacts and would have an immediate salutary effect on the bilateral trade figures. He said that the present two-way trade is only US$ 146 million and that this does not reflect the true potential of trade between the two countries. He was of the opinion that the FTA, the MOU, and the functioning of the Forum, would herald in substantial enhancement in bilateral trade. He also disclosed that many Pakistani entrepreneurs are interested in undertaking mega construction projects, getting up pharmaceutical factories, initiating information technology joint ventures, and providing excellent fabrics to Sri Lanka. Pakistan is also interested in increasing the import of tea from Sri Lanka too.

Majyd Aziz moreover added that prominent members of the Forum are Aziz Memon of Kings Group, M. I. Akbar of Akbar Group, Tony Talayaratne of SriLankan Airlines, Rashid Soorty of Soorty Group, Zubair Motiwala of Diamond Group, Yasin Malik of Hilton Pharmaceuticals, Tahir Khaliq of UDL Group, Saqib Bilwani of Gani&Tayyab Group, Amir Bashir of Season Oil, Khurram Kalia of Kalsoft, Yasin Siddiq of Premium Textiles, Naeem Warind of Warind Group, Nasser Kamal of General Tyres, Farid Aidrus of Unilever, and Capt Mushtaq of Seatrade Group, etc. He said that the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka would be the Patron -in- Chief while the Consul General and the two Honorary Consuls would be the Patrons. The Head Office would be at the Sri Lankan Consulate General in the Karachi.
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