As trade between Sri Lanka and its top global partner EU edged to $ 5 bn mark, Sri Lanka for the first time revealed its levels of attention to the EU trade dynamics on May 7.
Minister of industry & Commerce Rishad Badiuddin addressed the second EU-Sri Lanka Trade Dialogue, commenced at Galadari Hotel, Colombo on May 7.
The Trade Dialog was organized by the European Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ECCSL). The session, the second in its series since its commencement last year, aims at further promoting EU-Sri Lanka bilateral trade.
"I believe it's a timely initiative for two reasons," said Minister Batbhiudeen, addressing the event, and added, "Firstly, I am confident that, this initiative will help to identify potential markets in the EU for selected products and services such as IT-BPO, Agro Food and Beverages, Electronics, Gems and Jewelries, and Rubber and Plastics, while establishing business collaborations for mutual benefits.
In 2013, the total bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and EU stood at $ 4.9 bn.
Sri Lanka's total exports to the EU market have increased to $ 3.27 billion, in 2013 from US $ 2.7 Bn, in 2009. Even in the first quarter of this year alone exports to EU increased by 16.3% to $ 896 mn.
Simon Bell (Director-ECCSL) addressing the event, said, "Sri Lanka's export value addition has been remarkable and a great success. Often American and European officials are unaware of this, he added.