The EU Heads of Mission who visited Hambantota from 12-13 February, along with representatives of their respective trade teams to explore trade and investment opportunities for their countries, have expressed optimism about development of the Hambantota district.
French Ambassador, Christine Robichon, German Ambassador, Dr. Jürgen Morhard and British High Commissioner, John Rankin visited Hambantota, stated the British High Commission in Colombo.
Commenting jointly on their visit, the three Heads of Mission said, over 200 European companies are currently investing in Sri Lanka. The development of Hambantota into a logistics hub will open up many opportunities for companies to invest and partner with Sri Lanka. Our ties to the people of Hambantota are deep. Our three countries contributed substantially to the post tsunami reconstruction. We wish the people of Hambanotata well and hope our respective countries can be part of its success story, they said.
The three Heads of Mission expressing their views said,"We were pleased to tour the Hambantota District, a hub of promising economic development in Sri Lanka. Europe is Sri Lanka's major partners in trade and tourism. In 2012, France, Germany and the UK accounted for nearly 25% of the total number of tourists visiting Sri Lanka. We hope to see these figures increasing with the opening of the Mattala International Airport and welcoming of international flights, they further said.
Sri Lankan Airlines has a long standing relationship with our countries. Its fleet is made up exclusively of Airbus planes. Airbus planes are state of the art in particular for their fuel and cost efficiency, they further said.
We look forward to this relationship growing even stronger in the future. The EU is Sri Lanka's largest export market with over 30% of all exports in 2011 going to the EU. Exports to the EU have been increasing steadily for six consecutive years, Heads of Mission added.