Second biggest SAARC partner pushing $ 240M investments to Sri Lanka
Posted on November 26th, 2013


Sri Lanka’s second largest trade partner in SAARC is bullish, aims at heavy industry sectors here and has even earmarked an investment quantum destined for Sri Lanka. “Pakistani investors have a preference for Sri Lanka due to logistics and developing infrastructure. We now ready with $ 240 Mn in investments earmarked specifically for Sri Lanka” announced an eager Tarek M. Khan, President of Pakistan Sri Lanka Business Forum (PSLBF) on 12 November in Colombo.

PSLBF President Khan was addressing Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce) of Sri Lanka on 12 November during his meeting with Minister Bathiudeen at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Colombo 3. PSLBF President Khan was in Sri Lanka to attend Colombo’s CHOGM events with top members from his PSLBF. Meeting Minister Bathiudeen with President Khan on 12 November was Farrukh Ansari (Director, PSLBF and CEO of IJARA Holdings.


From 2005 to the third quarter of 2013, FDI from Pakistan to Sri Lanka stood at $ 7.5 Mn (cumulative) across 15 investment projects. Pakistan is the second largest trading partner of Sri Lanka in the SAARC region after India. A substantial growth in bilateral trade is seen in both exports and imports, especially after Free Trade Agreement between the two countries was implemented in 2005. The value of total trade between the two countries has increased from US $ 158 Mn in 2005 to US $. 433.69 Mn in 2012.

“The sectors we are planning to enter immediately are glass, healthcare (across total value chain), tourism, steel and power & energy. Pakistani investors have a preference for Sri Lanka due to logistics and developing infrastructure. We now ready with $ 240 Mn in investments earmarked specifically for Sri Lanka. In that, our member Farrukh Ansari and his investment vehicle IJARA Holdings alone have already lined up $ 240 Mn in funds specifically for Sri Lanka. I myself represent global pharma giant MERCK of US, which had sales revenue of $ 14.5 Bn in 2012. I too am planning to enter Sri Lanka in healthcare and tourism and this is in addition to the earmarked $ 240 Mn. This will be in healthcare -to do full cycle manufacturing here. Sri Lankan manufactured pharma cannot gain much by selling to local markets but rather, can earn bigger incomes by exporting from here. I am ready to invest in Sri Lanka, bring technology and know-how as well as bring advanced machinery here right away. Sri Lanka’s power and labour are cheaper than Pakistan, which is another reason we like here. Before investing anywhere, I mean anywhere, we always seriously consider Sri Lanka first! All the time, really. We can also partner with local hospitals, invest in them, upgrade them and turn them around. We are also ready to enter tourism sector. We need your assistance to enter Sri Lanka” said PSLBF President Khan.

Responding to PSLBF President Khan, Minister Bathiudeen said: “We welcome you with open arms. Already Pakistan has $ 7.5 Mn in FDI in Sri Lanka and there is good potential to to increase this. I and my Ministry officials will extend our fullest support and directions whenever you need. Come with your proposals and requirements. Our annual pharma market is about $ 500 Mn and is annually growing by about 33%. Therefore it is demanding. HE the President Mahinda Rajapaksa has made pharmaceutical and healthcare as a priority development sector in many of his recent budgets, extended special benefits to pharma sector import substitution. Investors like you fulfil our real FDI needs and sectoral development and we do not want to miss you.”

Responding to Minister Bathiudeen, an excited PSLBF President Khan said: “Well then I will have my investment and evaluation teams flown to Colombo very soon to inspect prospects here.”

One Response to “Second biggest SAARC partner pushing $ 240M investments to Sri Lanka”

  1. callistus Says:

    මේවගෙ කතා දකිනකොට සමහර අයට ඇහේ කටු අනිනවා වගේ ඇති

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