Sri Lanka High Commission in South Africa initiated a new series of B2B meetings in collaboration with the Department of Commerce and the Exports Development Board of Sri Lanka to find new opportunities for the Sri Lankan exporters in the new normal post-Covid situation.
Minara Chamber of Commerce in Durban, South Africa joined hands with the Mission to facilitate conducting a series of B2B meetings with special attention to coconut products, rubber products, cosmetic and ayurvedic products and electrical/ electronic installation equipment. This is focused on fulfilling the demand and supply gap created by the Covid –19 situations in the Southern African region.
The first virtual meeting was conducted on 06 May 2021 with the participation of Director of Agri Lanka Enterprises (Private) Limited Dr. Chandrawansa Pathiraja, Dulara De Alwis of Ceylon Export & Trading (Private) Limited and Director of Fresha Trading Enterprise Arashnee, from South Africa side.
As the strategic partner, Minara Chamber of Commerce plays a vital role in the international trade in South Africa representing and assisting South African businesses and entrepreneurs following Islamic Principles and ethos. Minara operates from its head office in Durban, KwaZulu Natal and a regional office in Johannesburg, Gauteng. Since the Durban Sea Port is the largest cargo facilitator in the Southern African region, the neighbouring countries are also using this port for import & export trade. Therefore this collaboration would open new markets not only in South Africa, but the neighboring countries like Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini (Swaziland), Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Also, the Durban Port is the gateway to the countries under the SADC (Southern African Development Community) trade bloc.
Currently, the trade between Sri Lanka and South Africa accounts for USD 250 Mn to 270 Mn annually while the largest portion allocating to the coal supply to the Lakvijaya power plant in Noracholai. On average, Sri Lanka exports USD 40 Mn worth of goods to South Africa including Ceylon teas, apparel, solid and pneumatic tyres, coconut products, spices, rubber and other miscellaneous products.
High Commissioner Sirisena Amarasekara introduced two Sri Lankan exporters to the buyer and explained the health benefits of using edible coconut products. Further, the Ambassador emphasized that Sri Lanka should concentrate more on the high value-added edible coconut products rather than serving to the mass market, comparing the existing global demand and supply flows. Commercial Secretary of the High Commission Sanjeewa Bandara coordinated the virtual meeting with the management of the Minara Chamber of Commerce.
Secretary-General of Minara Chamber Razak Jooma invited the Sri Lankan exporters & importers to join hands with the new B2B meeting series to find the new business and market opportunities.