(MENAFN - NewsIn.Asia) Colombo, Oct 26 (newsin.asia) - Sri Lanka, on Thursday said it aimed to expand trade ties with Qatar as the Arab nation was an important partner and had a strong Sri Lankan diaspora.
President Maithripala Sirisena who is presently on a two day state visit to Qatar held discussions with the Emir Of Qatar and other government officials and expressed interest in expanding its business and trade ties.
The Commerce Ministry in a statement said that Sri Lanka's trade with Qatar had been low and Sri Lanka now hoped to increase its exports into the Arab nation.
According to statistics, Sri Lanka's exports to Qatar averaged at around US 14.5 million dollars in 2016.
Main export items from Sri Lanka included bananas, Coconut Milk Powder, Tea, Sweet Biscuits, apparel and vegetables while products such as plastics, aluminum products, paper products, iron and steel products and organic chemicals were the key import items from Qatar.
Sri Lanka's total imports from Qatar stood at US 30.1 million dollars in 2016.
'We all know that Qatar has a very good potential in the fields of education, technology, and infrastructure. We are looking forward to establishing fruitful business linkages and partnerships with Qatari authorities in all conceivable areas for co-operation," Commerce Minister Rishard Bathiudeen said in the statement.
According to the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka, Qatar is also an important employment market as many Sri Lankans were employed in minor job categories in Qatar.