Chinese delegation in Sri Lanka looking at increasing Sri Lankan agriculture exports to China
Sri Lanka’s Industry and Commerce Ministry has stated that a top Chinese delegation is looking at increasing Sri Lankan agriculture exports to China giving the sector a chance to tap into the massive Chinese sector.
“The visit of the China National Agriculture Wholesale Market Association (CAWA) delegation to Sri Lanka opens a huge export opportunity for the Sri Lankan agriculture and fresh produce sector.
We also warmly invite member associations of CAWA to invest as joint ventures in Sri Lanka, transfer the latest technology and partner our Sri Lankan suppliers,” Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen has said.
A statement issued by the Ministry noted that Minister Bathiudeen has made this observation while addressing the visiting CAWA delegation led by CAWA Chairman Zengjun Ma.
CAWA is a national industry association approved by the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs.
Minister Bathiudeen was joined by Sri Lanka Director General of Commerce Sonali Wijeratne and many other Department of Commerce (DoC) officials.
CAWA’s International Commissioner Jingjie Kong has said, “CAWA has members in all provinces and municipalities across China accounting for 70% of the national wholesale total, which means we have an even bigger presence in China’s retail sector. All of the top 200 wholesale markets in China are members of CAWA. The CAWA managed annual wholesale turnover within China exceeds China Yuan 10 billion or US$ 1.4 trillion, which is 70% of the national wholesale total.”
“We are impressed with Sri Lankan fresh produce. As a result we are looking for trade and agriculture cooperation with Sri Lanka,” Ma has said.
“Not only is the taste of Sri Lankan produce better but also due to European Union standard compliance, the quality of Sri Lankan produce is very high. The Department of Commerce has shown us some fresh produce such as coconut water and kernel processing in Sri Lanka and we are impressed due to their in-depth reach. Many such processing activities taking place in China are not so in-depth or multi-level. It is very clear that Sri Lankan agriculture and fresh produce supplies can clearly expand in the huge Chinese market due to the competitive pricing of Lankan products, features such as good taste, higher quality and uniqueness.
“We are also impressed by the DoC-organised supplier meetings within Colombo with such institutions as the Coconut Development Authority and Seafood Exporters’ Association of Sri Lanka (SEASL). The Chinese consumer market is expanding in a big way and we suggest preparing a good, dynamic pricing strategy for Lankan suppliers to China to win in our market. We invite an official DoC delegation to China with Lankan suppliers for B2B matchmaking. China has high-level seafood processing technology that Sri Lanka can make use of,” Ma has added
According to Department of Commerce officials, Sri Lanka’s total trade with China increased by 3% last year to US$ 4.6 billion from 2016’s US$ 4.47 billion. For the first time, Sri Lankan exports to China last year showed a huge jump. This is an increase of 108% to US$ 415 million (in 2017) from 2016’s US$ 199 million.
The visit by the Chinese delegation recently ensures a steady export market for Sri Lanka’s agriculture goods. As recorded by the country’s Commerce Department, there has been an increase in Sri Lankan exports to China last year and the latest agreement between Sri Lank and China is expected to further boos the numbers in Sri Lanka’s favor. Therefore, foreign businesses interested in exporting goods to China could look at setting up base in Sri Lanka for their business or even look at opportunities in Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector and engage in agriculture exports.
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