Sri Lankan Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiyutheen has expressed willingness to start barter trade with Iran.
On Tuesday, the Sri Lankan official met with Iranian Industry, Mine, and Trade Minister Mehdi Ghazanfari in Tehran, discussing ways to diversify and expand industrial and trade ties, IRNA reported.
Ghazanfari said that the value of bilateral trade stands at $1.6 billion annually (including oil trade).
Bathiyutheen, for his part, welcomed Iranian investment in his country, and proposed bartering as a means to give a boost to the two-way trade.
U.S. sanctions against Iran had compelled Sri Lanka to pay an additional sum of $1.2 billion for the import of crude oil and refined oil, Sri Lankan Petroleum Minister Susil Premjayanth said in October.
The Minister said that the country’s oil bill had reached $5 billion by now.
The government had made arrangements to purchase crude from Saudi Arabia and other oil producing nations and orders had been placed for 135,000 million tons of light crude and another 80,000 million tons in the open market. (Tehran Times)