AMMAN –– A Sri Lankan economic delegation is expected to arrive in Jordan this month to sign agreements in various fields, according to Ambassador Andrayas Mohottala.
“By bringing new products into the two markets, we expect commercial exchange to increase between Jordan and Sri Lanka,” Mohottala told ‘The Jordan Times’.
Last November, a Sri Lankan trade delegation visited Jordan on a business promotion mission meeting with Jordanian business people and signed agreements in the fields of agriculture, tourism and labour.
Trade volume between the two countries in 2007 stood at $22 million of which $21.1 million were mainly imports of black tea, coconut and rubber products from Sri Lanka. Main exports from Jordan to Sri Lanka were fertilisers and pharmaceutical products totalling less than $980,000.
Sri Lanka has been a major supplier of manpower to the Kingdom with around 30,000 working in domestic services and another 12,000 workers in the garment industry, the ambassador indicated.
According to Mr. Mohottala, the number of Jordanian tourists to the Asian Pacific country increased by 90 per cent in 2008.
“A lot of newly-weds from Jordan choose Sri Lanka as a destination,” he said, highlighting the country’s clean beaches, adventurous places, wildlife and rich heritage.
Diplomatic relationships between Jordan and Sri Lanka were established at normal stages in 1960. In 1996, the Sri Lankan embassy was opened in Amman. (Jordan Times)
A trade agreement between Jordan and Sri Lanka was signed in 1965, said the envoy, adding that a visit to Jordan in 2007 by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa enhanced relations.
“The president’s visit was the first time a Sri Lankan head of state ever visited Jordan to strengthen the friendly ties between the two countries,” he indicated.
The visit paved the way to sign a number of memoranda of understanding on trade, culture and tourism, said the ambassador who has been serving in Jordan for two and-a-half years.