The total trade volume between Qatar and Sri Lanka stood at $73mn in 2017, according to Qatar Chamber vice chairman Mohamed bin Twar.
Speaking at the ‘Employment Promotion in Qatar,’ organised recently by the Sri Lankan embassy in Qatar and the Chamber, Bin Twar said Qatar considers Sri Lanka as a “strategic partner” in South Asia.
He said both countries signed various agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) to enhance economic relations, “but what has been achieved so far does not reflect the capabilities both countries have.”
“The state of Qatar is attaching great importance to developing co-operation relations in South Asia. There are many Qatari investments in this vital region and there is room for more in the near future,”he said in his speech.
In 2017, Bin Twar said the Chamber met with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, who, according to the Qatar Chamber official, “was very keen to meet Qatari businessmen whom he encouraged to invest in Sri Lanka.”
Bin Twar noted that there are around 210 Sri Lankan companies operating in Qatar with a capital of about QR45.5mn.
“On behalf of Qatar Chamber, I’d like to invite more Sri Lankan companies to take part in the renaissance taking place in Qatar and to establish joint ventures with Qataris in all sectors.
“Meanwhile, we urge Qatari businessmen to explore the abundant investment opportunities in Sri Lanka and to establish business partnerships and alliances with their Sri Lankan counterparts,” he said.
He said there are around 120,000 Sri Lankans employed in Qatar, and added that the “distinguished relations” between Qatar and Sri Lanka “are reflected in the presence of a large number of Sri Lankan expatriates who contribute to the development of Qatar.”
“I will seize this opportunity to emphasise Qatar’s great efforts to strengthen and ensure the rights of the expatriate labourers through the applied laws and procedures. The achievements of Qatar regarding the care of expatriate labourers included the building high-quality labour camps and creating labour dispute resolution committees to facilitate litigation for labourers in need of care,” he said.