The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) yesterday, October 04, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chitwan, (CCIC) Nepal to further promote trade, investment and tourism activities between two countries.
A 21 member business delegation from CCIC, Nepal is visiting Sri Lanka at present to create much needed trade and investment links between the two countries. Speaking at the event, Vish Govindasamy, Vice Chairman at CCC said trade between Sri Lanka and Nepal has grown in recent years and in 2014, Sri Lanka exported over USD 3 million worth of goods to Nepal.
“By 2018, this has increased to USD 8 million while imports from Nepal have grown marginally. Furthermore, we believe that there are opportunities for further growth and bi-lateral trade between two countries. We also see a notable rise in tourist arrivals from Nepal. Accordingly, about 1,000 tourists from Nepal visited Sri Lanka in 2012. Moreover, this figure grew to 5,200 in 2016 and has reached a high of 13,150 in 2017,” Mr. Govindasamy said.
Speaking at the event, President of CCIC Nepal, Sahan Lal Pradhan proposed to create links between Sri Lankan tourist and religious attractions and Buddhist and Ramayana tourist circuits to give a further flip to tourism industry activities in both countries. He noted that each year close to 50,000 Sri Lankans visit Lumbini, the birth place of Buddha.
“Given our long lasting cultural and religious ties, we see immense opportunities to invigorate cultural activities and religious tourism activities between two countries,” Mr. Pradhan said.
He said further the Gautam Buddha International Airport in Nepal will also help explore more business opportunities between the two countries. He emphasised that both countries should reconsider resuming direct flights between two countries.
“I’m hopeful that both nations will soon establish direct air connectivity in a bid to give a further flip to exiting trade and investment ties between both countries,” he added.