The first ever high level trade & business delegation to Sri Lanka from Finland now mulled for early December, as revealed on 04 September in Colombo.
I have been able to encourage my government to renew trade cooperation with Sri Lanka. I have been highly encouraged by the rapid development seen in Sri Lanka. The first ever Finnish business and investment delegation is now being scheduled for the first week of December 2014” announced Rauli Suikkanen, Finland’s Roving Ambassador for Bhutan, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka on 04 September in Colombo.
Ambassador Suikkanen was addressing Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka during his courtesy call on Minister Bathiudeen.
I am very happy two Finnish firms already successfully operating here in water and power sectors said Ambassador Suikkanen, and added: “Finland is world reputed for shipbuilding, telecom such as Nokia which used to be Finnish, ICT and even clean technologies. I see a lot of potential in Sri Lanka and Finnish businesspersons want to come here by themselves and find out the latest developments status in Sri Lanka. I congratulate Sri Lanka on its strong growth, he said.
The Nordic powerhouse Finland is the lead producer and user of information and communication technology (ICT) in the world and ranks No 1 in the Legatum Prosperity Index. It is also the birthplace of such global brands as Nokia, and Nokia Siemens Networks, Neste Oil, Finnair, F-Secure (IT sector), and Viking Line (shipping).
Minister Bathiudeen, responding to Ambassador Suikkanen, said: “we have seen rapid growth and this year expect GDP growth this year at 7.8%. This is the time to invest in Sri Lanka for keen Finnish investors. We are very pleased to welcome a leading business delegation from Finland and ready to give our fullest support in this regard.
According to the Department of Commerce, Sri Lanka’s trade with Finland has been fluctuating for the last few years and in 2013, and reported $28 Mn in 2013, with exports taking $16.05 Mn. Tea is the main item exported to Finland (55% in 2013) followed by apparel. As for imports, the leading import from Finland, mobile cellular phones saw their peak in 2010 and from 2011 is overtaken by marine propulsion engines and electric generating set imports followed by paper and cinema cameras. Sri Lanka is a GSP Beneficiary Country under EU GSP Scheme, which gives an added advantage for Sri Lankan exports to Finland.