The visit of the Qatari emir has strengthened economic ties between the two countries and encouraged businessmen to venture into Sri Lanka, the External Affairs Ministry said here in a statement on Wednesday. Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani arrived in Sri Lanka on Sunday for a two-day tour and was received by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. \"Both leaders observed that bilateral relations between the two countries have developed and diversified in recent years and expressed their resolve for furtherance of such mutually rewarding partnership in the years ahead,\" the statement said. While noting his desire to work with Sri Lanka to promote bilateral economic cooperation, the emir assured President Rajapaksa of increased Qatari investments in tourism, hotels and financial sectors. Marking an important mile-stone in Sri Lankan-Qatari relations, nine bilateral agreements were inked between the two countries covering investment, economic cooperation, tourism, education, agriculture and legal fields in addition to the agreement signed for the formation of a high joint committee between Sri Lanka and Qatar. Qatar has over 100,000 Sri Lankan migrant workers, which is the strongest link between the two countries.