• Visegrád Four to synergise Lanka's FTAs to penetrate South Asia

    04/12/2014 Daily News

    02/01/2017
    Visegrád Four to synergise Lanka's FTAs to penetrate South Asia

    dustrial economy billed as the Tetra Tiger due to its high growth, has revealed for the first time that it wants to synergise Lanka's historic FTAs to penetrate South Asia, and it is also readying for new bilateral efforts of high capacity across the board-in Lanka's wheat production, energy and even defence.

    "Our aim is to make Sri Lanka our business and investment platform to South Asia. There are many Slovakian manufacturers ready to invest here, produce and export to South Asian markets using your FTAs with India and Pakistan," said Peter Burian, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic recently.

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  • Vietnam calls for FTA

    02/12/2014 Daily FT

    02/01/2017
    Vietnam calls for FTA

    • ‘Appointing Lanka’s first trade official to Vietnam’ – Minister Rishad
    • ‘Bilateral trade should not be just rice and tea’ – Kieu Thu
    • YoY bilateral trade surges by 88%
    • ‘Time to explore joint apparel synergies too’ – Kieu Thu

    Stepping up its trade cooperation with Sri Lanka, Vietnam said that it was working towards establishing a groundbreaking FTA with Sri Lanka.

    In view of this, Sri Lanka has promptly appointed its first-ever trade officer to Vietnam, the world’s fifth largest apparel exporter which is ready to partner with Sri Lanka’s own apparel industry.

    “There is huge unrealised trade potential between both countries that we need to explore. Trade need not be mostly the exchange of rice and tea between both countries. Therefore, while in Colombo, I will take up the task of promoting an FTA with Sri Lanka,” said Vietnam’s new ambassador to Sri Lanka, Phan Kieu Thu on 27 November in Colombo.

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  • EDB hits China gold with first mainland MoU

    25/11/2014 Daily News

    02/01/2017
    EDB hits China gold with first mainland MoU

    • Secures links with world’s largest textile retailer ZARA
    • Deeper commitments with new FTA: Vice President Hua
    • Fresh ties: EDB’s Egodage
    • Exports to China grew in last 5 years: EDB’s Dr. Maraikkar
    • Bilateral trade at $ 3 b

    Sri Lankan exports broke fresh ground on 20 November, as a pioneering MoU between the country’s apex exports facilitator EDB and China was entered into in Colombo. With the commencement of FTA talks, bilateral relations have also further deepened.

    “During President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Sri Lanka this September, he and President Mahinda Rajapaksa reached consensus to deepen the strategic partnership and joint construction of 21 Century Maritime Silk Road. Now the countries have officially started the bilateral FTA negotiations and we believe that the bilateral cooperation would be further deepened in future,” said Zhang Hua, Vice President of CCPIT Guangdong Sub Committee.

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  • Kenya-Sri Lanka Joint Economic Cooperation talks a success

    18/11/2014 Daily FT

    02/01/2017
    Kenya-Sri Lanka Joint Economic Cooperation talks a success

    Kenya, the newest entrant to Africa’s top 10 list, called for renewed trade with Sri Lanka and in a display of its commitment towards this end requested three trade pacts with Sri Lanka in one go by 2015.

    “We are looking forward to more trade interaction and expecting a delegation to Nairobi from Sri Lanka next year. By the time of your visit to Nairobi we are looking forward to conclude current discussions on three agreements being discussed and to sign them,” said Amb. Nelson Ndirangu Ogn (Director, Economic Affairs and International Trade of Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nairobi) on 12 November in Colombo.

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  • Bangladesh announces speedier trade pact in the offing

    13/11/2014 Daily FT

    02/01/2017
    Bangladesh announces speedier trade pact in the offing

    • Good news, prefer an FTA: Rishad
    • Talks will conclude successfully: Ashan
    • YoY bilateral trade jumps by 67%

    Minister of Industry and Commerce Tarik Ashan (third from left) greets Bangladeshi High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Tarik Ashan (second from left) yesterday in Colombo as Bangladeshi High Commission Colombo Counsellor and HOC F.M. Borhan Uddin (far left), Ministry of Industry and Commerce Secretary Anura Siriwardene(third from right), DoC DG R.D.S. Kumararatne (second from right) and EDB Chairman/CEO Bandula Egodage (far right) look on

    As bilateral trade with Bangladesh showed a strong rise, the country has signalled that it has now started moving towards the historic trade pact with Sri Lanka, as revealed yesterday in Colombo, and Bangladesh wants the agreement to be signed fast.

    “At my final meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina just before my departure to Colombo, she advised me to focus strongly on trade during my new tenure in Sri Lanka. I am pleased to inform you that the trade agreement under discussion between both countries at present will come to a successful end,” announced the newly-appointed Bangladeshi High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Tarik Ashan yesterday.

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  • Trade renewal in offing with largest Nepali biz visit in a decade

    03/11/2014 Daily FT

    02/01/2017
    Trade renewal in offing with largest Nepali biz visit in a decade

    • ‘Time for air links, new trade’: Nepal’s Dhakwa
    • ‘Sending two teams’: EDB’s Egodage
    • Bilateral trade at $ 5 m
    • ‘Come to us & get Indo, Thai markets’: Nepal’s Dhakwa

    TEPC Member of Board of Directors and the leader of the visiting Nepali delegation Bikash R. Dhakwa (third from right) gifts a copper and gold dust plated Shakyamuni Buddha statue crafted by Nepali artisans to EDB Chairman and CEO Bandula Egodage on 29 October in Colombo

    As Lanka-Nepal trade leaped by threefold and showed new signs of revival, the biggest Nepali business delegation to Sri Lanka after almost a decade concluded their visit successfully on 2 November and also gave an unprecedented opening for the country’s artisans to enter two of the highly profitable craft markets in the region through Nepal and Sri Lanka’s creative artisans have been invited to November’s International Fair in Kathmandu.

    “Sri Lanka and Nepal have historic relations and now is the time to go to the next step; towards stronger bilateral trade. The main reason we are coming to Sri Lanka is that you have very good gem processing technology – also we need your natural precious stones,” announced Trade and Export Promotion Center (TEPC) Member of Board of Directors and the leader of the visiting Nepali delegation Bikash R. Dhakwa on 29 October in Colombo.

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  • Sri Lanka attends ICC Conference on Global Economic recovery in Dhaka

    31/10/2014 Asian Tribune

    02/01/2017
    Sri Lanka attends ICC Conference on Global Economic recovery in Dhaka

    The Export Development Board of Sri Lanka led a trade delegation from Sri Lanka to participate at the International Chamber of Commerce Conference on Global Economic Recovery which was held in Dhaka on 25-26th October 2014.

    On the sidelines of the Conference, nine Sri Lankan companies included in the delegation participated in two Business Match-Making sessions with the members of the Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) at two events on 27th October. The participating companies represented printed packaging products, garment and textile accessories, IT and education, food processing and electric cable sectors. The delegation also met with the senior officials of the Board of Investment of Bangladesh and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

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  • Lanka’s top global FDI partner in yet another $ 1 b rollout

    28/10/2014 Daily FT

    02/01/2017
    Lanka’s top global FDI partner in yet another $ 1 b rollout

    • Malaysia places Lankan SMEs as top priority
    • Going up to $ 1 b: – Delegation Lead Abdullah
    • Great news for our SMEs: Rishad
    • We are moving to SA via Lanka: SME Factors’ Al Qudsy
    • Lanka-Malaysia trade at $ 577 m

    Sri Lanka’s largest global FDI partner Malaysia is mulling a new wave of incremental FDI totalling $ 1 b with an emphasis on SMEs.
    It will become one of the largest-ever Private Public Partnership (PPP) ventures in Sri Lankan SMEs and the entry of biggest SME financier in Malaysia to Sri Lanka is the first step in their South Asian leap.

    “We are thinking of another $ 1 billion portfolio in Sri Lanka in addition to the current investment portfolio here by EXIM Bank of Malaysia. SMEs are the priority sector in this new $ 1 b rollout while other sectors are also being mapped,” said Syed Zed Al Qudsy, President of SME Factors, Jalan, Malaysia on 15 October, addressing Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen at the EDB Building in Colombo.

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  • US-SL trade talks conclude in Colombo

    16/10/2014 Daily FT

    02/01/2017
    US-SL trade talks conclude in Colombo

    • GSP, labour, trade promotion among discussed items
    • SL-US biz relationship at $ 3 b: Trade Rep Delaney
    • US Ex-Im Bank renewing ties with Lanka: Rishad
    • US biz team also in town, US-SL Biz Forum today
    • YoY SL-US trade up by 21% to $2.8b

    Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen (third from left) addresses the 11th Joint Council Meeting under the US-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Agreement joined by SL Embassy in Washington DC Minister Counsellor Bandula Somasiri (far right), Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the US Prasad Kariyawasam (second from right), Ministry of Industry and Commerce Secretary Anura Siriwardena (fourth from right), DoC DG R.D.S. Kumararatne (fifth from right) and MoIC Additional Secretary Sheita Senaratne (sixth from right) and Minister (Commercial) at Lanka Embassy in US Bandula Somasiri (right)

    Talks under the Sri Lanka and US Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) concluded yesterday in Colombo, reiterating the commitment to foster greater bilateral economic engagement.
    “The US-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) is the premier dialogue for managing bilateral trade and investment relationship between both countries. This relationship amounts to $ 3 b” said Michael Delaney, the visiting Assistant United States Trade Representative for Central and South Asia yesterday in Colombo.

    Delaney, who is leading a 10-member official delegation to Sri Lanka, was addressing the 11th Joint Council Meeting (JCM) under the US-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) at the Taj Samudra, Colombo.

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  • Matching global construction standards vital for country’s progress: Minister Rishad Bathiudeen

    04/10/2014 Daily FT

    02/01/2017
    Matching global construction standards vital for country’s progress: Minister Rishad Bathiudeen

    • Six construction exhibitions open at BMICH
    • Sub-sector grows by 14.4%
    • Construction sector 7.3% of GDP

    Sri Lanka’s surging construction sector is not only an indicator of economic health, but also an integrator of an important economic layer, meaning that following international standards in the construction sector could help the country’s ‘Hub Status’ journey, Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said yesterday.

    “The construction sector claims only 7.3% of our GDP. However, the sector is much more important than these numbers would indicate. There is a strong SME presence in this sub-sector,” the minister expressed.

    Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the inauguration ceremony of the International Exhibition on Windows and Doors, Aluminium Extrusion, Roofing and Façade, Glass and the 2nd International Exhibition on Sri Lanka Wood at BMICH.

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  • Top corporates in Lanka’s first industrial energy push

    29/09/2014 Daily FT

    02/01/2017
    Top corporates in Lanka’s first industrial energy push

    • 11 top Lankan manufacturers in pilot project
    • ‘Round one a success, mulling second!’: Rishad
    • ‘Slowly getting-off from oil powered energy’: CEB’s Prof. Perera

    Several top Lankan manufacturing firms have been enlisted in the first ever industrial energy initiative as announced on 25 September. As a result of the success, a second manufacturing energy initiative is now being mulled. And, Ceylon Electricity Board is slowly ‘getting off’ from expensive oil powered generation!

    Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka Rishad Bathiudeen (third from left) inaugurates 12th POWER Sri Lanka 2014 International Expo at Sri Lanka Exhibition and Conventions Centre, Colombo joined by (from left): CEMS Sri Lanka CEO Sarwar, Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau Chairman Nihal Rupasinghe, CEMS Global Asia Pacific Group CEO S.S. Sarwar, EDB Chairman & CEO Bandula Egodage and Ceylon Electricity Board Vice Chairman Professor Kapila Perera on 25 September

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  • Sri Lanka showcases SME drive at UN’s Export Forum

    25/09/2014 Daily FT

    02/01/2017
    Sri Lanka showcases SME drive at UN’s Export Forum

    • EDB takes part in WEDF 2014 in Kigali!
    • Our brands competing with global brands: EDB’s Egodage
    • WEDF 2014 learns of Lankan SME initiatives

    A well-known Sri Lankan tea brand received the keen attention of global export experts at the UN’s latest 2014 World Export Development Forum in Rwanda, while the role of Sri Lanka’s apex export body, the EDB, in enhancing SME exports was also revealed to global experts.

    “Several Lankan brands play an important part in Sri Lanka’s exports success. Some Lankan brands have been able to compete against larger brands from multinational companies,” said EDB Chairman and CEO Bandula Egodage , taking part in the World Export Development Forum (WEDF) on 16 September in Kigali, Rwanda.

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  • Sri Lanka starts work on global consumer compliance

    21/09/2014 Asian Tribune

    02/01/2017
    Sri Lanka starts work on global consumer compliance

    From left: Sujatha Weerakoone (DG-EDB), Antony Taubman (Director of the WTO’s Intellectual Property Rights Division), Anura Siriwardene (Secretary, Ministry of Industry and Commerce), Gretchen Stanton (Senior Counsellor, World Trade Organization) and RDS Kumararatne (DG-DoC) at the 18 September WTO session in Colombo.

    Sri Lanka has begun compliance work on the global consumer end of its exports basket on 18 September. And no less than two top experts from Geneva’s WTO are in town to facilitate the pioneering effort.

    “Today, more countries around the world continue to reduce their border tariffs, either unilaterally or through an increasing number of free trade agreements, called as RTAs-Regional Trade Agreements. Non-tariff barriers such as SPS and TBT measures have begun to create a significant impact on international trade. Unfortunately, most of these measures appear to be highly complex and increasingly challenging” said Anura Siriwardene (Secretary, Ministry of Industry and Commerce) on 18 September in Colombo.

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  • First ever business delegation from Finland due in December

    10/09/2014 Daily FT

    02/01/2017
    First ever business delegation from Finland due in December

    Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen and Finland’s Roving Ambassador for Bhutan, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka Rauli Suikkanen hold discussions in Colombo last week

    LThe first-ever high level trade and business delegation to Sri Lanka from the world’s ICT leader is now mulled for early December. “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 Finland’s Roving Ambassador for Bhutan, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka Rauli Suikkanen on 4 September in Colombo.

    Suikkanen was addressing Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen during a courtesy call on Bathiudeen. Also present was EDB Chairman and CEO Bandula Egodage .

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  • Sri Lanka's bilateral trade with Israel surges 178% since trade pact in 2007

    08/09/2014 The Colombo Page

    02/01/2017
    Sri Lanka's bilateral trade with Israel surges 178% since trade pact in 2007

    Sri Lanka's bilateral trade with Israel has surged by 178% since a trade pact signed in 2007, signaling even closer B2B links between the two countries, a press release issued by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said.

    "We have a history of bilateral trade and business cooperation with the State of Israel. This time we took about 40 leading businessmen to Israel from Sri Lanka and completed a successful Business Forum", Sarath Wijesinghe, Sri Lanka's Ambassador in Israel said Friday at a business review meeting in Colombo.

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  • ‘Our trade future looks good!’: Seychelles

    03/09/2014 Daily FT

    02/01/2017
    ‘Our trade future looks good!’: Seychelles

    Enhanced trade cooperation cemented by a new Joint Trade Committee will open Sri Lanka’s anticipated trade volumes with Africa said Seychelles on 27 August. Lankan exports to Africa’s top blue economy as well as transit passenger volumes to Colombo is now on the increase as a result of recent air connectivity.

    “The prospective Joint Trade Committee between Sri Lanka and Seychelles will be Sri Lanka’s platform for accessing the huge African market. Almost all the issues regarding quarantine of certain exports have now been resolved and all requirements met! As a result we are now receiving loads of more Lankan fresh fruits and vegetables than before,” said an upbeat Minister for Finance, Trade and Investment of Seychelles Pierre Laporte in Colombo.

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  • World Export Development Forum 2014 to be held in Africa for the first time

    31/08/2014 Lanka News Papers

    02/01/2017
    World Export Development Forum 2014 to be held in Africa for the first time

    The World Export Development Forum (WEDF), a flagship event of the International Trade Centre (ITC), is bringing its 14th edition to Africa, with a dedicated focus on entrepreneurs.

    Dedicated to supporting trade-led inclusive and sustainable development, the forum will be held in Africa for the first time, and is slated to take place in Kigali, Rwanda on 16-17 September, under the theme SMEs: Creating jobs through trade.

    Besides, participants at the 14th World Export Development Forum (WEDF) will have the opportunity to hear expert views from entrepreneurs, policymakers and representatives of trade support institutions on how both new technology and traditional sectors can help promote growth.

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  • Lankan biz throng first Seychelles forum in Colombo

    27/08/2014 Asian Tribune

    02/01/2017
    Lankan biz throng first Seychelles forum in Colombo

    Pierre Laporte (Minister for Finance, Trade and Investment of Seychelles-second from right) gifts a 'Coco de mer' sea coconut prevalent only in Seychelles to Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka-second from left) on 27 August in Colombo as Bandula Egodage (Chairman & CEO-EDB-far left) and Waven William (Seychelles Ambassador to Sri Lanka-far right) look on.

    No less than 130 reps from 125 Lankan firms thronged the first bilateral B2B call between Sri Lanka and Seychelles biz ever to be held in Colombo on 27 August. “Today’s event can be a stepping stone for more bilateral trade between both countries, which is an urgent need at this moment. The total bilateral trade has been low at only $3.7 Mn. Today’s initiative therefore is a major step in this direction” said Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka) on 27 August in Colombo.

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  • High level ‘Nam push for Lanka investments

    25/08/2014 Asian Tribune

    02/01/2017
    High level ‘Nam push for Lanka investments

    The Government of Vietnam, while unravelling Lankan investment volumes within its borders, signalled on 22 August of its own investment push towards Sri Lanka-and coming from its high levels. “Already 10 Sri Lankan investment projects are in Vietnam. Vietnam investors and businesses too are eager to go out of the country and invest.

    I hope the Government of Sri Lanka would create an enabling environment for Vietnamese business and investors” said a keen Pham Binh Minh (the Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam) on 21 August in Hanoi.

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  • Historic Lanka-Vietnam trade link established in Hanoi

    22/08/2014 Asian Tribune

    02/01/2017
    Historic Lanka-Vietnam trade link established in Hanoi

    Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce–right) appreciates the souvenir gift from the Minister of Trade and Industry of the Vietnam Vu Huy Hoang (centre) at the Head Quarters of Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, in Hanoi.

    The first ever Sri Lanka Vietnam official trade mechanism went live in Hanoi on 21 August. And the new mechanism, according to the Vietnamese side, is the practical way for bigger trade cooperation in the form of an Agreement.

    “Today’s new beginning will open many new opportunities for both countries. I am fully convinced that setting up of a Joint Working Group (JWG) or Joint Trade Sub Committee, would lay a concrete foundation to enhance the existing bilateral trade and economic relations new heights. My Ministry would closely monitor the progress” said n Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka) at the Head Quarters of Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, Hanoi on 21 August.

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