Iran energy minister, delegation in Sri Lanka for post-sanctions trade
Feb 22, 2016 19:02 PM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)
TRADE TALKS: Iran's Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian welcomed by Sri Lanka's Trade Minister Rishard Bathiudeen.
ECONOMYNEXT - A trade delegation which includes Iran's energy minister Hamid Chitchian has arrived in Sri Lanka for talks aimed at boosting trade including oil imports, after international sanctions ended.
"During the meet, Sri Lanka is looking for ways to increase exports to Iran while the Iranian team is looking to renew a multi-tiered trade cooperation approach with Sri Lanka," the Trade Ministry said in a statement.
"Several representatives in the delegation are from Iran's Ministry of Petroleum, and the state owned petroleum giant the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)."
The delegation will begin annual Joint Economic Commission (JEC) talks on February 24.
Iranian Industry, Mines & Trade Chamber, MAPNA (railroads and locomotive supplier), FARAB (heavy infrastructure including reservoirs), SUNIR (electrification and mega scale engineering projects) are in the delegation.
Bilateral trade which was 1.6 billion dollars in 2011 and 857.8 million in 2012 had fallen to 170 million by last year as Sri Lanka could no longer import crude.
Sri Lanka's ageing state-run oil refinery is especially suited to Iranian Light Crude.
"We are ready to re-commence our trade with post-sanctions Iran," Trade Minister Rishard Bathiudeen was quoted as saying in a statement.
Up to September last year, Sri Lanka had exported 91 million dollars' worth tea and 10 million dollars' of coconut. Sri Lanka had imported about 7.1 million dollars of electrical insulators, nuts and bolts, pumps, earth moving machinery and dates.