“There is strong unrealized potential for trade and investment cooperation between the two countries as we arrive at the 60th anniversary of our bilateral relations,” says German Ambassador to Sri Lanka Dr. Jürgen Morhard.
A top German investment delegation is now scheduled for Colombo this October, he further said.
He made these observations when met with the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen recently.
The race for Sri Lanka’s key strategic resource (rare earth elements and mineral sands) has just tightened with Germany too exploring this crucial domestic sector, which is poised for a boom, stated the Ministry.
German-Asian Business Circle announced that it is planning to send a representative team of German investors to study emerging opportunities in Sri Lanka.
“The team could be visiting Sri Lanka this August or somewhat later,” said RA Ekkehard Stein, Immediate Past President of DAW, addressing the 2013 DAW Asia Pacific Forum on 25 February at Maritim Hotel in Frankfurt, where Minister Bathiudeen, representing Sri Lanka.
Several notable German private sector giants were in attendance at the 2013 DAW Asia Pacific Forum in Frankfurt, where Vietnam and Sri Lanka -the only two Asian economies invited to do so in the Frankfurt session- made country presentations to a keen group of potential high level German investors and business ventures seeking to expand to new destinations in Asia.
Among the giants present were Eurex Frankfurt AG, Duetsche Borse Group, IVP Group Germany GmbH, Asico Handels GmbH, MAZARS GmbH, Adam Opel AG, SWB GmbH, LUTHER LLP, and VietinBank, and Rigging Service GmbH.
Germany is the leading Eurozone investor in Sri Lanka with 170 investment projects currently in the country. German investments in Sri Lanka are protected by the bilateral Investment Protection Guarantee Agreement.
“On behalf of our government, I extend our thanks to the Deutsch-Asiatischer Wirtschaftskreis e. V and the German government for giving the opportunity to Sri Lanka to showcase its new upswing at the 2013 DAW Asia Pacific Forum. As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of our bilateral relations, I realize that there is strong potential for trade and investment development between the two countries that we can jointly explore” said Minister Bathiudeen.
He further said that “We specially encourage German firms to invest in our rare earth elements and mineral sands. We like Germany’s high industrial expertise and know-how that can, without doubt, enhance Sri Lanka’s mineral-sands sector. This is a sector we believe that urgently needs value addition capacity support, so that we can capitalize on the emerging global opportunities presented by this commodity.”
“We too are exploring Lanka’s REE & mineral sands sector’ revealed Dr. Morhard, and added: “I am already talking with a German firm regarding investing in Sri Lanka’s REE and mineral sands sector.”
According to the Ministry, Germany is ranked as the 6th exporting partner of Sri Lanka representing 4.8% ($ 451.9 Mn) of Lanka’s exports in 2012.
Sri Lanka’s main exports to Germany are apparel & clothing, solid tyres, Tea, gloves, rubber tyres, Natural rubber, fish and leather products while motor cars, electrical Machinery, Organo-sulphur compounds, Instruments and appliances used in medical surgical, and sounds recorders constituted major import items to Sri Lanka from Germany.