(MENAFN - Gulf Times) The government of Sri Lanka has bestowed an ‘Award of Excellence' to Doha Bank CEO Dr R Seetharaman during a recently-held cultural programme marking the South Asian country's 70th anniversary of independence. On behalf of the Sri Lankan government, ambassador A S P Liyanage presented the award to Seetharaman during the event, which was organised by the Sri Lankan embassy in Qatar, in association with the Sri Lanka Coordinating Committee. The award was given in recognition of the support extended by Seetharaman in promoting bilateral trade and investment relationships between Qatar and Sri Lanka. Doha Bank has been extending credit lines to Sri Lankan banks, and has received in-principle approval for opening a representative office in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and shall commence its operations soon, the bank said in a statement. Seetharaman, who was also the guest of honour during the event, said: 'IMF expects Sri Lanka to report GDP growth of 4.8% in 2018. Sri Lanka and Qatar have diplomatic relations since 1976. In recent times, Sri Lanka's imports from Qatar have primarily been polymers of ethylene, while the country's exports to Qatar were mainly bananas followed by food preparations, tea, and vegetables. 'Sri Lanka can support Qatar in food, while Qatar can continue to support Sri Lanka in polymers. Sri Lanka is keen on seeking Qatari investment in tourism, power, and health sectors. Sri Lanka has enjoyed close ties with Qatar with over 120,000 Sri Lankans making up for Qatar's close to 2.7mn population. The event also witnessed cultural performances from the Sri Lankan community in Qatar. Picture shows Seetharaman receiving the award from Sri Lankan ambassador A S P Liyanage during the event.