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Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 06.05 GMT
Brussels confirms November biz delegation


Brussels region, a hive of European Union commercial activity and decision making, is looking to further strengthen its trade ties with Sri Lanka -directly.

I will be visiting Sri Lanka in November this year with a Belgium business delegation which will have many firms from the Brussels region. This visit would be a good opportunity to explore bilateral trade potentials in several identified areas" revealed Ms Celine Fremault, the Brussels Regional Minister in Charge of Economy, Employment, Scientific Research and Foreign Trade on 07 October.

Brussels Regional Minister Fremault was addressing Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka Rishad Bathiudeen during her bilateral meeting with Minister Bathiudeen in Brussels.

Ms Fremault is one, in the five-member Cabinet of the ‘Brussels-Capital autonomous Region’–which, in addition to be being the capital city region of Belgium, also has international relations authority of its own.

According to the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka, Belgium has become the fourth largest destination of Sri Lanka’s exports to the world last year, while becoming the 11th largest supplier to Sri Lanka. The total trade turnover in 2012 stood at $ 826 Mn, a 65% increase from the $ 501 Mn in 2005.

Such leading Belgium companies as United Tobacco Process Ltd, CFE Ltd, BESIX, are already successfully operating in Sri Lanka. United Tobacco Processing whose investment in Sri Lanka exceeds Euro 15 Mn is moving to double its investment here.

Minister Fremault’s delegation to Colombo is expected to consist of 10 firms from Brussels and Walloon regions.

"We are also looking to share the experience of those Belgian Companies that have already established in Sri Lanka. This will be of importance to my delegation" Regional Minister Fremault stressed.

"We shall extend our fullest cooperation to your delegation" said Minister Bathiudeen, addressing Regional Minister Fremault and added: "I also extend our invitation to the Brussels Region to take part in the Commonwealth Business Forum and in the International Exhibition ‘Reflection Sri Lanka’ arranged alongside the CHOGM 2013 Summit in November. This Exhibition will have a special facility to showcase heavy machinery and high tech equipment, which can be used in Sri Lankan Business sector, which will be of interest to the Brussels Region as it has the expertise in those sectors. Both Belgium and Sri Lanka have the outlook of a trade hub which is supportive for bilateral investment cooperation."





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Last modified: October 24, 2013.

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