Sri Lankans willing to visit Jordan are facing obstacles, especially as a result of restrictions on granting visas to Sri Lankans as well as the absence of direct flights to Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankan Ambassador to Jordan, Abdul Latiff Lafeer called for the reopening of direct flights between the two countries, and facilitating the process of granting Sri Lankan citizens visas to enable them to visit Jordan for tourist purposes.
Lafeer described Jordanian-Sri Lankan relations, which have been established in 1965, as distinguished at all levels, noting that these relations are progressively developing in various fields.
In a press statement on the occasion of Sri Lanka’s national day, he said that there are 15,000 Sri Lankan workers in Jordan, including 12,000 in garment factories and 3,000 domestic helpers, noting that they receive all attention and care in Jordan and consider Jordan as one of the best countries to work and live in, Ammon news reported.
“The volume of trade exchange between the two countries amounts to $50 million, but there are wider opportunities for increasing trade and boosting economic relations between them,” the Ambassador added, noting that both countries are interested in increasing trade and economic cooperation.
The Ambassador pointed out that there are opportunities for Jordanians to invest in Sri Lanka, mainly in the fields of industry, infrastructure, railways, agriculture, tourism, hotel industry and others.
He said that the agreement on avoiding double taxation between Jordan and Sri Lanka is now being reviewed by the Jordanian parliament in preparation for its signing, calling for the speedy completion of this agreement due to its importance and the role it will play in increasing economic cooperation.
He said the volume of Sri Lankan investments in Jordan stands at more than $50 million, concentrated in two Sri Lankan garment factories, adding that Talal Abu Ghazaleh Organization recently opened an office in Sri Lanka to protect intellectual property.
In the tourism field, the Sri Lankan Ambassador said that tourism between the two countries is growing steadily, pointing to the increasing number of Jordanians visiting his country.
The Ambassador spoke about obstacles facing Sri Lankans willing to visit Jordan, the most important of which are the restrictions on granting visas to Sri Lankans, as well as the absence of direct flights to Sri Lanka. He called for the reopening of direct flights between the two countries, and facilitating the process of granting Sri Lankan citizens visas to enable them to visit Jordan for tourist purposes.
Ambassador Lafeer called for opening a Jordanian embassy in Sri Lanka due to the progressing relations between the two countries and the role it could play in further boosting bilateral relations.
He said that His Majesty King Abdullah II plays a balanced role in the region and enjoys the respect and appreciation of the whole world, adding that His Majesty’s wise policies and wisdom helped Jordan to preserve its stability in a volatile region.
Jordan and Sri Lanka, the Ambassador said have identical views on various issues of common concern, especially the Palestinian cause, adding that Sri Lanka supports the two-state solution through negotiations leading to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. (Colombo Gazette)