Pakistan’s Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) will be holding Made in Pakistan – Single country exhibition in Colombo in partnership with the High Commission of Pakistan in Srilanka from 26th April to 1st May 2012 at Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), Hall B.

The Single Country exhibition aim to provide a platform to the Pakistan based companies, for showcasing their range of products and services to the Srilankan public and business community.  The exhibition will also be contributing in promoting Pakistan – Sri Lanka economic relations by diversifying the existing trade patterns thus introducing a wide range of quality Pakistani products in the Sri Lankan market with prominent business and trade sectors.

More than 50 Pakistani trading and manufacturing companies will be participating in this exhibition. Among the products displayed in the exhibition will be Jewellery, sports equipment, fashion and fabrics, leather goods, handicrafts, furniture and house wares, etc.

Pakistan is the 2nd largest trading partner of Sri Lanka within the South Asian region. The level of bilateral trade between Pakistan and Sri Lanka increased as a result of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Trade between the two countries increased from US$ 225 million to over US$ 390 million during the last four years, with the positive support gained from the FTA.

Bilateral trade between the two countries strengthened through an increase in the number of products imported from and exported to Sri Lanka such as fish, meat, vegetable, foliage, plant, sugar, biscuits, pastry, cakes, mineral products, fiber boards, leather and leather-based products, footwear, gems, jewellery, value-added copper products, electrical items, bicycles, boats, and floating structures. There was a great demand for Pakistani produces such as cotton yarn, fabrics, potatoes, pharmaceutical products, knitted or crocheted fabrics, articles of iron and steel, galvanized pipes, rice, fish, seafood, textile articles, articles of apparel and clothing accessories, rods of refined copper etc.

Sri Lanka was the first country to sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Pakistan. FTA between Pakistan and Sri Lanka is operational since 2005. Under FTA, Sri Lanka and Pakistan have agreed to offer preferential market access to each others’ exports by way of granting tariff concessions. Sri Lanka enjoys duty free market access on 206 products in the Pakistani market, while Pakistan, gained duty free access on 102 products in the Sri Lankan market. The aim of a free trade agreement is to reduce barriers, to facilitate exchange so that trade can grow as a result of specialization, division of labor, and most importantly via comparative advantage.

Items in the zero duty list of Pakistan include frozen fish, vegetables, spices, fruits/juices, polymers of vinyl chloride in primary forms, natural rubber, raw silk, tanned/crust skins, wool, some varieties of paper and board, carpet and floor covering, non-alloy aluminum, iron and steel products and toys/dolls.

Sri Lanka’s zero duty items under the FTA include chickpeas, dates, oranges, benzene, toluene, apparel and clothing accessories, ball bearing, penicillin/ streptomycin/ tetracycline and their derivatives and vacuum flasks.

The two brotherly countries have also signed the Bilateral Investment treaty in December 1997, which came into force in January 2000 after ratification. In addition a memorandum of understanding between Board of Investment Pakistan and Board of Investment Sri Lanka has also been signed in February 2007 for strengthening of cooperation in all the sectors of investment of both countries. This MoU provides support to the enterprises on both sides and encourages them to invest in both countries. The two Boards of Investment also practice sharing of information on investment polices and projects and encourage exchange of expertise.