Following launch of the Grand Made in Pakistan – Single country exhibition in Colombo; Pakistan’s Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) of Srilanka under the patronage of the High Commission of Pakistan in Srilanka on 26th April, 2012.

The MoU aims to encourage mutual understanding and promote business and friendly relations between the industrial, trade and business communities of Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) is the premium business association of Pakistan which was established in 1952. The RCCI is affiliated with the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, which itself is the member of the International Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The RCCI has more than 4000 members comprising business establishments from large manufacturers to home based small businesses. The Chamber has played a vital role in the development of commercial, industrial and economic activities in the region.

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) of Srilanka was founded on March 25, 1839 under the British Rule. The agriculture based services provided by the CCC to its members, has gradually elevated to value added services. Over a period of years, CCC which plays a catalytic role in the development of the business sector, changed its focus on identifying key issues to assist in the development of strategic plans

to meet new challenges and opportunities. 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.

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.

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.