Sri Lanka’s National Chamber of Commerce will hold a session on ‘Bilateral Trade with Iraq’ on Tuesday, May 27, with the participation of Ambassador of Iraq, Kahtan Al Janabi (pictured) as special guest speaker.
It will be held from 3p.m to 4.30 p.m at the Chamber Auditorium, No. 450, D. R. Wijewardene Mawatha, Colombo 10. The Ambassador will be assisted by Dr Ali Al-Kuhlee, Asst. Commercial Attache.
They will speak on current business trends, trade potential, opportunities for export, import, investment/ and other services available in Iraq for Sri Lankans. There will be an opportunity for the participants to meet the Ambassador and representatives from the embassy and get first hand information on the relevant areas.
According to the Department of Commerce, the value of total trade between the two countries that stood at US $ 8.72 million in 2003 topped US $ 89.99 million in 2013. Iraq has lifted a ban on coconut fibre pith exports from Sri Lanka and has also agreed to relax restrictions on Ceylon Tea, according to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
Sri Lanka exported goods totalling US $ 89.80 million to Iraq and imported only goods worth US $ 0.19 million from Iraq during 2013.
Tea has been a major export item to Iraq accounting for about 95 percent of Sri Lanka’s exports to Iraq, with an estimated 15,000MT of Ceylon tea being exported.
The Iraqi Ambassador encouraged Sri Lankan trained medical personnel to work in Iraq, such as anesthetists, nurses, and physicians. According to a statement , Iraqi State Trading Corporation had expressed willingness to buy certain items from Sri Lanka including rubber tyres, stationary, electrical cables, generators and accessories, apparel and textiles, household appliances, toys, foodstuff, and covering for trailers.