Qatar seeks Lanka's support for WTO initiative on natural gas
Qatar has called upon Sri Lanka to support its WTO initiative on
natural has and shown keenness for a larger bilateral trade and economic
engagement with Sri Lanka.
"Both countries, despite having a huge potential to expand
cooperation in commerce and investment, have not fully exploited it,"
Minister of Economy and Commerce of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Ahmed bin
Jassim bin Mohamed Al Thani told the opening session of the first
Qatar-Sri Lanka Joint Economic Cooperation meeting in Doha, Qatar
Minister Bathiudeen and members of the Sri Lanka delegation
at the first Qatar-Sri Lanka Joint Economic Cooperation
"There should be greater effort and we should pursue these objectives
more vigorously. We also look forward to Sri Lanka's support for our
initiative on natural gas and derivatives of environmental goods which
has been submitted to the World Trade Organisation," he said.
The 10-member Sri Lanka delegation was led by Industry and Commerce
Officials from Ministries of Finance and Planning, Fisheries,
Cultural Affairs and Industry and Commerce and the Department of
Planning were among the members of the Lankan delegation.
Commerce Department Director General R. D. S. Kumararatne led the
"The signing of an Agreement on Economic, Commercial and Technical
Cooperation and the Agreement for the Reciprocal Promotion and
Protection of Investments, between the two countries in 2012, and many
other Agreements and Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) with various
entities in Sri Lanka, shows that both countries, despite having huge
potential to expand cooperation in commerce and investment, have not
fully exploited it," Minister Al Thani said.
"We appreciate what Sri Lankan companies are doing in Qatar in the
fields of construction, services and furniture. We also look forward to
more Sri Lankan private sector contribution in the promotion of trade
and development," he said.
"However, there has been only a marginal volume of bilateral trade
estimated at Qatari Riyal 327 million in 2013, which is below our
expectations. We look forward to further expansion and the overcoming of
all constraints and obstacles which impact trade between the two
countries," the Qatari Minister said.
There should be more effort to enhance trade and investment
opportunities through the promotion and improvement of relations between
the two sides and through the Chambers of Commerce and Industry, he
"We should also exchange visits by businessmen. We look forward
organising trade fairs and
cultural events to understand and recognise the culture and heritage
of both parties and their different products," Minister Al Thani said.
"We also look forward to Sri Lanka's support for our initiative on
natural gas and derivatives of environmental goods which has been
submitted to the World Trade Organisation," he said.