COLOMBO, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Sri Lankan government said on Wednesday that it will begin discussions on trade and petroleum sales with Iran next month after economic sanctions were lifted on the country last week.
A statement from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said a high level delegation from Iran will be arriving in Sri Lanka in February as Sri Lanka looks to re-commence petroleum and petrochemical sales to Sri Lanka.
"We are entering the post sanction era, it is time to upgrade our bilateral relations, including economic relations. In fact, renewing our bilateral ties, including economic, is the top priority of my mission to Colombo," said the newly appointed Iranian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mohammed Zaeri Amirani.
According to Sri Lanka's Department of Commerce, bilateral trade between the two countries surpassed 1 billion U.S. dollars in 2011 and in 2012.
Trade declined thereafter due to unconditional decrease of imports from Iran and as a result, last year's total bilateral trade stood at only 188 million U.S. dollars.
Amirani said Tehran had accepted Sri Lanka's suggestion for the next Joint Trade Commission and were looking forward to meeting Sri Lankan officials in Colombo in February.
"Iran is looking to supply medicine, medical equipment, agricultural machinery such as tractors, fertilizer, bitumen, and petrochemicals to Sri Lanka," the ambassador said.
"I am pleased that Sri Lanka would be able to re-commence petroleum imports from Iran from now."