Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian arrived in Sri Lanka with a 30 member delegation to establish close cooperation with Sri Lanka.
The delegation consists of members from both the Government and the Iranian private sector as well as Iran’s biggest Chamber, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said.
“Post-sanctions Iran is transparent and ready to do business with the world. In our new era, we want closer cooperation with Sri Lanka. During the coming days, we are looking to meet with several government Ministers as well,” Iranian Minister Chitchian said.
Both countries are to take part in the 11th Joint Commission for Economic Co-operation (JCEC) on Wednesday in Colombo.
During the meet, Sri Lanka will look for ways to increase exports to Iran while the Iranian team is looking to renew a multi-tiered trade cooperation approach with Sri Lanka.
Officials from Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum, and the state owned petroleum giant the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) are part of the visiting delegation.
The delegation is scheduled to visit the Uma Oya project funded by the Export Development Bank of Iran.
According to the Department of Commerce, bilateral Trade between the two countries surpassed $ 1 billion in 2011 (at $ 1.6 Bn) and in 2012 two-way trade totaled $857.81 million. T
Sri Lanka used to import its petroleum requirements from Iran till 2012 (50000 barrels a year), and after the sanctions took effect in 2012, total trade declined to $660 million from 2011’s $1.4 billion. (Colombo Gazette)