Sri Lanka has started negotiations with three countries to procure a rice consignment to stabilize its domestic markets. The Sri Lankan Minister of Industry and Commerce Mr. Rishad Bathiudeen hosted a meeting on 22 June in Colombo where the HE Ambassador Designate of Thailand to Sri Lanka Mrs Chulamanee Chartsuwan, HE Ambassador of Indonesia to Sri Lanka Gusti Ngurah Ardiyasa and Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan Dr. Sarfraz Ahmad Khan Sipra gathered to discussed the speedy procurement of rice for the domestic market at the behest of HE the President Maithripala Sirisena. “We are looking for par-boiled (Nadu) and Samba categories now” said Mr. Bathiudeen.
Mr. Bathiudeen addressed that, “We note with satisfaction of the continued friendly relations and surging trade we have been having with your nations over the years. At this time, our call is different. We are keen to procure rice for Sri Lanka from you, through a Government to Government process, but are open for your private sectors’ support as well if necessary. The Cooperative Wholesale Establishment (CWE) under me will be the focal point for this effort and will be in contact with you continuously. After one of you are picked as the supplier of this volume, based on a transparent international procurement process, our expert team consisting of my officials, food technologists, and rice experts will arrive in your country to inspect and certify the entire stock before it would be shipped to Colombo. We are looking for par-boiled (Nadu) and Samba categories at this moment. We can start with 300,000 MT. Even if Sri Lanka would choose one of you as the supplier in this case and leave the others, we are still eagerly looking forward to enhance bilateral trade with all of you-in many other ways.” All the dignitaries present in the meeting pledged immediate support to Sri Lanka in the hour of crisis.