ICCI President for tapping potential of religious tourism

Islamabad: High Commissioner designate to Sri Lanka Major General (R) Qasim Qureshi visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) to discuss bilateral relation between Pakistan and Sri Lanka and explore new avenues of trade and investment.

High Commissioner said that he would ensure to pass on information to Pakistani business community regarding trade opportunities available in Sri Lanka so they could take benefit and enhance trade ties with Sri Lanka.

He assured that, he would do at his best for the promotion of mutual relations between the business communities of both the countries and stressed that more needs to be done for strengthening the two countries bilateral relationship, particularly in the areas of trade and economic co-operation.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr.Zafar Bakhtawari, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that Pakistan has Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Sri Lanka, China and Malaysia which reflects the importance of Sri Lanka for Pakistan.

He said that bilateral trade between both the countries is not up to the potential which needs to be further enhanced as Sri Lanka and Pakistan are two close, friendly regional countries.

ICCI President also impressed upon the need that Pakistani embassies in all around the world should adopt friendly-visa polices which would ultimately attract more foreign investors and businessmen to visit Pakistan and invest in the areas of their interest.

Mr.Bakhtawari was of the view that there is dire need to enhance direct linkages between the both countries by increasing number of direct flights which would stimulate mutual relations. He said that PIA has been facing huge losses for last many years as it had lost several destinations due to tight-visa policies.

ICCI President also stressed to promote religious tourism because Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country and Pakistan has ancient Buddhist land as well as Pakistan is home to a diverse number of tourist attractions which include very beautiful landscapes, ancient civilizations like Indus Valley and Gandhara civilization as well as Buddha sculptures.

He said that many Pakistani products including rice, surgical instruments, sports goods and textiles have good potential in Sri Lanka and Pakistani businessmen are willing to establish direct trade links with Sri Lanka to grab better market share.

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