A Memorandum of Understanding signed recently between the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the Maldives National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) will enhance opportunities for bilateral trade, investment and tourism, giving new impetus to a proposed trade agreement between Sri Lanka and the Maldives, State Minister for Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya announced.
Speaking at the occasion of the signing of a renewed MOU between the Ceylon Chamber and MNCCI, Minister Balasuriya added that the Government hoped to finalise a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) or Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with the Republic of Maldives in order to strengthen existing trade relations and explore new opportunities for economic collaboration.
Vice Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Duminda Hulangamuwa said the MOU would provide a stronger framework for enhanced collaboration. Noting that several business promotion missions organized by the Ceylon Chamber participated in international trade fairs in the Maldives, while high-level business fora were organized for visiting delegations from the Maldives, he added that the Ceylon Chamber would continue to play an active role in facilitating interactions between the business communities of the two countries.
Asiya Azeema – Vice-President, MNCCI said the MOU would facilitate economic co-operation by increasing awareness of mutually beneficial trade and investment opportunities in the two countries. His Excellency Omar Abdul Razzak High Commissioner for the Maldives in Sri Lanka, referred to the historic trade ties between the two countries, stating that the renewed MOU would ‘rejuvenate trade ties’ and further cement long-standing bilateral trade relationships. The Acting High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in the Maldives, Mr. D. Amanulla hailed the renewed MOU as an important step in facilitating direct business linkages and promoting joint ventures, exchange of technical expertise and building alliances which would take both countries to greater economic heights.