Europe unleashes new trade push on Sri Lanka

1181863054euroRishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka- left) meets the Geneva delegation led by Xuejun Jiang (Chief-Office for Asia and the Pacific, ITC, Geneva-seated immediately left to Minister Bathiudeen) as RDS Kumararatne (DG-DoC-seated immediately right to Minister Bathiudeen) looks on

 

As a new economic era dawned on Sri Lanka, the EU has lost no time and moved fast to enhance its engagement with the country’s global trade platform to advance it to the next levels-and Sri Lanka’s trade with EU, the country’s largest export market, crossed $3.2 Bn in 2014, as revealed on 21 January. “This latest initiative matches very well with our new government’s vision and a great start! Therefore on behalf of HE the President Maithripala Sirisena, I extend our thanks to the EC for interacting very quickly with us in this event as well as all our trade initiatives and issues” said a thankful Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka) in Colombo.

 

Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the European delegation from Geneva’s International Trade Centre (ITC) led by Xuejun Jiang (Chief-Office for Asia and the Pacific, ITC, Geneva) at EDB in Colombo. Joining Minister Bathiudeen on 21 January were RDS Kumararatne (DG-Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka) as well as other DoC officials. The delegations also includes top UNIDO officials from Geneva-among them Juan Pablo Diaz – Castillo, (Associate Industrial Development Officer Quality, Standards and Conformity Unit Trade Capacity Building Branch-UNIDO).

 

“The Department of Commerce, The Delegation of the European Union in Colombo, and the International Trade Centre (ITC) in Geneva are currently in the process of formulating a trade-related capacity building project, which will enhance the overall performance of the export sector of Sri Lanka. The proposed project, which is scheduled to implement from 2016, will be funded by the European Union. Under the Joint Commission’s Working Group on Trade at Brussels last year, possible EU assistance for Capacity Development and EU was inquired into and EU responded positively” said Chief Jiang and added: “Subsequently a proposal was followed through EU Embassy in Colombo. Now the resulting proposal in range of 2 to 7 Mn EURO capacity development exercise in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has picked ITC for as coordinator for the entire programme. Other economic agencies of the country including government agencies and various Trade Chambers are stakeholders in this exercise. The concept will be developed and implemented by Geneva’s ITC. The Department of Commerce is the local coordinator of the project. UNIDO is also extending its expertise. The new project is expected to commence within a year from now to span three four years.”

 

– Ministry of Industry & Commerce