Sri Lanka and Iran are attempting to increase direct business to business connections as trade hits 809 million U.S dollars in 2010, officials said here on Monday.
Following discussions between Sri Lankan's Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and Iranian Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives Mahmoud Rahimi Gorji, the two agreed to exchange business delegations in an attempt to boost trade.
Trade between Sri Lanka and Iran has continued to show a positive trend since 2001 despite the balance of trade between two countries being heavily and continuously in favour of Iran over the years.
According to government data, Iran was Sri Lanka's fourth import destination in 2010. In 2008, bilateral trade hit a high of 1.3 billion but dipped to 809 million U.S. dollars two years later.
Iran is a significant buyer of Sri Lankan tea but exports have dropped after U.S sanctions posed limitations on Sri Lankan businesses.
However the countries are determined to work together, Industry and Commerce Ministry Spokesman Joseph Thavarajah told media adding that discussions were also underway to hold the next round of bilateral meetings in Tehran.