Hot on the heels of China upgrading its expo partnership with Sri Lanka in March, is a NATO power entering the fray to upgrade the country’s expo partnership, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said.
“We have upgraded Sri Lanka as a Partner Country in our international Izmir trade-fair scheduled in August and would like to invite Sri Lanka to join us at this level” revealed Iskender Okay, Turkish Ambassador to Sri Lanka , as quoted by the ministry.
Okyay was addressing Rishad Bathiudeen , Minister of Industry and Commerce on 12 April at the Ministry of Industry & Commerce in Colombo.
The Sri Lanka Partnership upgrade by Turkey becomes the second Lanka upgrade by a G20 economy –first being China- within a record short span of just one month.
Turkey, which became the world’s fastest growing economy in 2010 and 2011 beating the global recession, is also the first NATO member to upgrade its exposition affinity with Sri Lanka to ‘expo partnership’ level.
A G20 economy with more than 70 Mn population/market, Turkey is the Eastern-most member in the powerful NATO bloc. Turkey’s Izmir is one of the five international Candidate Cities bidding for the World Expo 2020, the global exposition held once in five years (last show being Shanghai).
According to the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka, Trade with Turkey has been on an increasing trend lately. The total trade turnover in 2005 which stood at $ 97.4 Mn almost doubled by 2012 to $ 190.57 Mn, registering an increase of 95.66% (compared to 2005). The Izmir international fair, the 82nd edition to be held in 2013, is also one of the longest on-going trade fairs in the world, is not based on specific "themes" for display of the products and therefore is considered as an open-products fair of international scale.
"The balance of trade between Sri Lanka and Turkey has been in favour of Sri Lanka during the last 8 years, increasing six-fold-from $ 14.7 Mn to $ 88.39 Mn by 2012, which shows that Sri Lanka has a prominent role in the forthcoming Izmir Trade Show" responded a keen Minister Bathiudeen, addressing Okyay. "Therefore we are looking forward to take part at Izmir in strength" he stressed.
Both Bathiudeen and Okyay also delved on trade and investment matters during the discussion on 12 April.
On 15 March 2013, a high level Chinese trade and business delegation led by Vice Governor of China’s Yunnan Province, Ding Shaoxiang, informed Minister Bathiueen in Colombo that China has upgraded Sri Lanka to no less than a Joint Sponsor in the first of its newest international trade event series- the first ever China South Asia Exposition (CSAE) to be held in Kunming from 06 June. The delegation also held meetings with several key figures of the Government before it returned.