Mauritius keen to establish air links with SL

9 October 2013 04:52 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Mauritius, which is positioning itself to become an ocean economy, has expressed interest in signing an Air Services Agreement with Sri Lanka to boost bilateral trade between the two countries, a communiqué by Sri Lanka’s Industry and Commerce Ministry quoting Mauritius Foreign Minister Avin Boolell said.

“Expediting the signing of Air Services Agreement and exploring possibilities of extending SriLankan Airlines’ flights to Mauritius will boost bilateral cooperation between Sri Lanka and Mauritius significantly,” Boolell said.

The Mauritius Foreign Minister was addressing Sri Lanka’s Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, during Minister Bathiudeen’s courtesy call on Minister Boolell on the sidelines of the first IOR-ARC Economic and Business Conference (EBC), held at Le Meridian Hotel, Mauritius. According to the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka, total trade between Sri Lanka and Mauritius stood at US $ 6.93 million in 2012, up 5.6 percent compared with the previous year.
Department of Commerce sources confirmed that the existing low levels of trade are a strong sign of the untapped potentials in future bilateral trade. Among Sri Lanka’s leading exports to Mauritius are coloured woven cotton fabrics, diamonds, and food and live animals.

Minister Bathiudeen invited a Mauritius delegation to take part in the forthcoming Business and Trade Forum & events to be held in parallel to the CHOGM event. “While we work on intra-regional trade at IORRAC, I stress that the current bilateral trade levels between Mauritius and Sri Lanka too are low, and therefore, we believe there is huge unrealised trade volumes that can yet materialise between us. It is time we explore these potentials for mutual benefit,” Bathiudeen added.
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