Sri Lanka seeks to boost ties with Iran
During his meeting with the Iranian Commerce Minister Mehdi Ghazanfari, the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa called for expansion of ties between Tehran and Colombo.
The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting quoted Rajapaksa Wednesday as saying that, "We welcome Iranian exports to carry out projects here."
The Sri Lankan president also expressed hope that Iran will supply his country with LNG.
The 9th Joint Economy and Trade Cooperation Committee meeting between Iran and Sri Lanka, was held from the 13th to the 15th of September.
The Iranian Commerce Minister Mehdi Ghazanfari led Iranian delegation.
In the meeting the two countries commerce ministers signed six MOUs and cooperation agreements in the fields of customs, sisterhood between Shahid Rajaei and Colombo ports and acceptance of each other's maritime certificates.
Also in this meeting agreements were made between the two countries in the fields of science, culture, art and standardization.
An increase in trade, holding international exhibitions, enhancing maritime relations and implementing engineering and technical projects were among other agendas during the meeting.
In April 2008, Iran began work in several infrastructure development projects in Sri Lanka, all part of a $1.5 billion loan to the South Asian island. These projects included doubling the oil refinery capacity of Sri Lanka's Sapugaskanda refinery as well as building a 100-megawatt hydropower project and irrigation plan in Uma Oya. In June 2009, the country signed a $106 million agreement with an Iranian firm to provide electricity to roughly 1,000 villages in Sri Lanka.