Britain pledges full support for economic development in Sri Lanka

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka James Dauris has assured full support for economic development in Sri Lanka when he met Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen on Wednesday at the Ministry.

The British High Commissioner exchanging his views on the future programs in several fields has assured that his country will further strengthen economic cooperation to develop Sri Lanka’s economy.

Speaking of the recently concluded Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2018) the envoy said Commonwealth is diverse-and more so when it comes to sharing its collective prosperity.

“The commonwealth celebrates its diversity and shares its collective prosperity with its members,” said the British High Commissioner.

High Commissioner Dauris responding to Minister Bathiudeen apprising of Sri Lanka’s success at the Commonwealth forums in London said he is pleased of Sri Lanka’s level of participation at the Commonwealth Business Forum.

Minister Bathiudeen said over 200 Commonwealth entrepreneurs were at Sri Lanka breakfast networking session of Commonwealth Enterprise and Economic Council held on the sidelines of CHOGM18.

“B2B meetings that followed the breakfast meeting provided the opportunity for members of the delegations to develop further into specific opportunities. Representatives from Sri Lankan ICT industry launched the new branding campaign ‘Island of Ingenuity’ which appeared to be received well,” the Minister informed the envoy.

The Breakfast session was jointly facilitated by the Department of Commerce, Export Development Board (EDB) and Sri Lanka High Commission in London.

According to the Department of Commerce, the business meeting opened a new window to explore partnership between Sri Lankan enterprises and the commonwealth business delegations from other countries to promote intra-Commonwealth trade and investment.

Sri Lanka along with Bangladesh and Singapore is considered as one of the major “emergent FDI attracting Commonwealth Destinations”.

Around 27 percent of Sri Lanka’s annual global trade in “goods” is being done with the Commonwealth while 40 percent of Sri Lanka’s global trade in “services” is done with the Commonwealth. Sri Lanka’s country share of Intra-Commonwealth imports is around 3 percent.

The Commonwealth plays a silent but significant role in Sri Lanka’s new trade reforms, the Ministry says. In 2016, Commonwealth Secretariat’s Head & Adviser of Trade Competitiveness Dr Rashmi Banga stressed in Colombo that the Secretariat is “providing technical assistance to the Department of Commerce in Sri Lanka in the Department’s (work on) Free Trade Agreement negotiations.” The Secretariat has already analyzed and identified 40 new products and 15 new markets for Lankan exports that could add $2 billion more to the present Lankan export revenues.

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