Sri Lanka and EU hold Investor Dialogue to ensure smooth functioning of trade between countries

Sri Lanka and EU hold Investor Dialogue to ensure smooth functioning of trade between countries

Sri Lanka and the European Union (EU) held its sixth EU-SL Investor Dialogue last week at the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade.
The meeting held last Friday (23) was co-chaired by Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama and Ambassador of the European Union to Sri Lanka, Tun Lai Margue.
The meeting was reportedly held with the Embassy of the European Union, the embassies of the member states of the European Union and the Board of Investment (BOI) of Sri Lanka to address various outstanding matters relating to investment in Sri Lanka and the EU.
Among the issues that were discussed were the need for transparent tender procedures and the possibility to build up a central portal where a planned project could be listed.
The Cabinet of Ministers in Sri Lanka has already approved Electronic Government Procurement (e-GP) in the Public Procurement System and it is now necessary to proceed with the implementation process.
EU member countries were keen on the effective use of digital signatures and promotion of a paperless concept in order to reduce red tape, delay and duplication of work. It was reported that by now the Department of Customs, banks and the Ministry of Finance have adopted the use of digital signatures.
Several matters specific to Sri Lankan companies as well as companies of EU member countries were reportedly discussed in order for solutions to be worked out.
The levying of charges on Sri Lankan importers and exporters for local charges were also discussed and the dialogue was a good platform to discuss certain local safety and health regulations imposed for food products with the participation of the relevant regulatory agencies, reports further noted.
Participants at the meeting were representatives from the foreign missions of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania and the United Kingdom. There were also senior officials from the European Union missions based in Colombo and New Delhi and representatives of the European Chamber of Commerce, reports state.
Several leading government agencies had also participated in the meeting to contribute to the dialogue in relation to specific areas under their jurisdiction.
The Sri Lankan state institutions present were the Ministry of Digital Infrastructure and Telecommunications, Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Ministry of Ports and Shipping, Department of Public Finance, Department of Trade and Investment Policy, Department of Commerce, Department of Fiscal Policy, Information and Communication Technology Agency, Sri Lanka Customs, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Civil Aviation Authority, Department of Inland Revenue, National Medicinal Regulatory Authority, Merchant Shipping Secretariat, Department of Excise and Department of Import and Export Control.

OSL take:

The sixth Investor Dialogue between Sri Lanka and EU indicates the level of commitment of both parties to ensure the smooth functioning of trade and bilateral relations. The high participation of members of foreign missions of the EU situated in Sri Lanka indicates the level of business relations between EU nations and Sri Lanka. The decision to take trade between Sri Lanka and EU to the next level through e-solutions would further ease business engagements between the nations. Therefore, investors looking at doing business with the EU could use Sri Lanka as their base to carry out their businesses. On the other hand, businesses/investors in the EU could also explore for business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka as well.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20180227/Z_2

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