“The two countries have to consolidate the already strong bilateral relations. A number of joint venture trade projects are being implemented between both countries” announced HE Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Sri Lanka Abdulhamid Abdulfattah Kazim Al- Mulla on 1 December in Colombo. Ambassador Al-Mulla was addressing the 76th National Day Celebrations of UAE in Colombo recently. Joining the occasion were President Maithripala Sirisena, Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government Faiszer Musthapha, Minister of Primary Industries Daya Gamage, and several Lankan MPs.
“Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates enjoy diplomatic relations since 1979.There are over 122,000 Sri Lankans living and working in the UAE,” said Minister Bathiudeen addressing the evening event, and added: “The total trade turnover was US$ 1.3 billion in 2016 and US$ 1.18 billion in the first half of 2017.
According to the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka , in both 2015 and 2016 total trade between UAE and Sri Lanka was at $ 1.34 Bn and upto August this year, it totalled $1.8 Bn. Tea, apparel, and natural rubber were the three major export commodities from Sri Lanka to UAE last year.