Significant strides in establishing Free Trade Agreements with Bangladesh and the Maldives, together with existing FTAs will pave the way to initiate FTAs with most Southeast Asian countries by next year, enhancing Sri Lanka’s position as an attractive destination for Foreign Direct Investment, State Minister of Regional Cooperation, Hon. Tharaka Balasuriya stated recently.
Speaking at a webinar organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UCCI), aimed at promoting bilateral trade between the two countries, Mr. Balasuriya expressed the desire for greater collaboration between the two countries, highlighting Sri Lanka’s burgeoning ICT industry as likely to be of particular interest to Ukraine, which is renowned for its ‘ICT capabilities and for having the best coders in the world’.
Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Mr. Vish Govindasamy cited many opportunities to invest in Sri Lanka, including immediate opportunities for the manufacturing sector to invest in the dedicated Pharmaceutical and Textile Zones, the power and energy sector and hospitality and tourism projects at the Port City Colombo. The President of the UCCI Mr. Gennadiy Chyzhykov said that while certain Sri Lankan exports, such as Sri Lankan tea which holds 33% of the tea market in Ukraine, are dynamic, there is potential to further develop trade and collaboration, especially between the two Chambers in order to accelerate opportunities for cooperation. Hon. Taras Kachka, Deputy Minister of Economy of Ukraine – Trade Representative of Ukraine, echoed these sentiments, welcoming greater collaboration in order to enhance economic relations between the two countries.
The webinar was followed by interactive sessions for participants, dedicated to exploring trade and investment opportunities in the agriculture, industry and tourism sectors of both countries.
Also in attendance at the webinar were His Excellency Rizvi Hassen, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Turkey and Miss Yoshitha Jayasuriya, Minister Counsellor Commercial of the Sri Lankan Embassy in Turkey which collaborated to organize the event.