Colombo, Dec 17: Iran is interested in attracting Sri Lankan banks and joint ventures in petroleum and pharmaceutical sectors.
According to a statement of the Sri Lanka’s Industry and Commerce Ministry, Iran’s new ambassador to Sri Lanka Mohammad Nabi Hassanipour has expressed his country’s keenness in starting joint ventures in several sectors before Sri Lanka’s Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, Xinhua reported.
‘Our private sector is keen on joint ventures in Sri Lanka’s infrastructure, pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors. I also invite more and more Sri Lankan banks to expand into Iran and begin operations there,’ the ambassador stated.
He said Iran is keen to resume direct flights with Sri Lanka and also wants to open direct commercial shipping with Colombo thereby strengthening bilateral shipping cooperation.
Iran also sees that there is a need to increase the capacity of Sri Lanka’s oil refining and believes the Sri Lankan refinery needs to finance expansion plans, said Hassanipour.
The current total trade between both Iran and Sri Lanka is worth $890 million. Sri Lanka imports most of its oil from Iran.