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Sri Lanka asked to invest in Afghan natural resources

Sri Lanka asked to invest in Afghan natural resources

Aug 02, 2018 - 10:20

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Sri Lankan entrepreneurs have been invited to explore possible investments in tapping Afghanistaninfo-icon’s mining resources, including oil and gas.

Afghan Ambassador Munir Ghiasy urged Sri Lankan businesspeople to contemplate investment in his country, which has $ 3 trillion identified natural resources.

At a meeting with Sri Lanka's Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen in Colombo on Tuesday, he said regional countries should explore Afghanistan’s natural wealth.

The Colombo Page quoted Ghiasy as saying: "We have formulated new policies to open air corridors with several countries to boost trade in products like dry fruits, knitted carpets and semi-precious stones.”

Since the global firms were costly, the ambassador argued, Afghanistan wanted countries in this region and neighbours to explore its enormous natural resources.

"If necessary Sri Lankan firms can come in first and just see the possibilities. I have found Sri Lankan miners to be well-skilled. At present, only a nominal level of bilateral trade takes place between the two countries," he added.

Minister Bathiudeen hailed the offer, saying Colombo-Kabul total trade volume in 2017 stood at $ 820,000. Sri Lankan exports to the landlocked country worked out at $700,000.

“My Ministry welcomes your offer and I am sure this is good news that they (our businessmen) would welcome… our geological surveys and mine management are at advanced levels,” the minister remarked.

Over the past three years, printed books, newspapers and other printing industry products have been Sri Lanka's major exports to Afghanistan, but its imports from Afghanistan are negligible.

"We shall advice potential Sri Lankan investors to visit Afghanistan, get to know good partners and meet the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) as well as the Afghan Investment Support Agency (AISA) so that your offer is utilised," said Bathiudeen.

PANinfo-icon Monitor/mud

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