Important step towards reaching trading hub goal in South Asia

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Andreas Berg, Deputy German Ambassador in Sri Lanka.

Concerted efforts and effective measures need to be taken to give a further flip to existing bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Germany, said Andreas Berg, Deputy German Ambassador in Sri Lanka.

As part of strengthening ties between the two countries, Germany has offered Euros 27 million to Sri Lanka this year, in different fields of development cooperation.

One successful aspect in this regard is the Germen-Sri Lanka partnership in the vocational training sector in Sri Lanka. In 2016, a Technical Training Centre was established in Kilinochchi with the assistance of the Government of Germany to provide opportunities for youth in the Northern Province.

Plans are also underway to build another Technical Training Centre (TTI) in Matara to provide the same opportunities to youth.

Furthermore, the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO) has decided to provide Euros 4 million towards demining activities in affected areas of the Northern and Eastern provinces. The GFFO made this decision in light of Sri Lanka’s accession to the Ottawa Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention to assist Sri Lanka to be a mine-impact free country by 2020.

He further said that the tourism industry in Sri Lanka suffered a setback in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday terror attack and as a result, Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals in May fell 70 per cent year-on-year (YoY) and a drop in tourist arrivals was also recorded from Germany as well.

However, in July this year, German tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka have recovered gradually.

“In addition to those, there were positive developments in our bi-lateral relationship and we see this logistics conference as an important step towards Sri Lanka’s goal of becoming a trading hub in South Asia. In order to realize this vision, it is crucial to find solutions for major obstacles that hamper the real growth potential of the maritime and logistics industry in Sri Lanka.

There are various obstacles that German investors face when it comes to investing in Sri Lanka. I’m hopeful that those hurdles can be overcome by friendly dialogues and close cooperation,” said the Deputy German Ambassador.