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New push to boost Sri Lankan exports to Australia through ‘A Journey of Exploration’

New push to boost Sri Lankan exports to Australia through ‘A Journey of Exploration’

Daily FT: The Sri Lanka and Australia Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday unveiled a new initiative titled ‘A Journey of Exploration’ as it hopes to boost exports to the land down once again to AUD 1.5 billion and beyond.
The Chamber together with the Export Development Board (SLEDB) will host a high-profile trade delegation from Australia over the next few weeks, in what it hopes will be a captivating blend of exploration, cultural immersion and economic collaboration between the two countries.
The Australian delegation will include representatives from the Aboriginal Economic Development Group and other prominent business entities. The delegation will explore avenues in food, textiles and IT, plus, visits to the Port City to give the visitors a glimpse of Sri Lanka’s evolving infrastructure. The delegation comes in partnership with the Victoria State Government, and other local stakeholders include the National Chamber of Commerce, SLASSCOM, Port City, Hatch and Orion City.
Speaking to the Daily FT, Export Development Board Chairman, Kingsley Bernard, said: “Our exports are down about 10% year-on-year, so it is imperative we look at new strategies. There are two strategies to bridge this gap amongst others. One is to explore new markets, and the other one is to increase exports to existing markets where there is new potential.
“We feel there is huge untapped potential in Australia, and we have invited this group from the indigenous community so we can take a certain percentage of exports to this segment, rather than continue to visit the highly established chains. This is a model we can explore on a global scale with different segments and we are also looking at Africa.”
The week-long sessions will feature a series of events and discussions on mutual expansion prospects, with a great deal of focus on the tech landscape.
Sri Lanka Australia Chamber of Commerce President Kalum De Silva said his association had paved the way to double trade between the two countries since its inception in 2015 to about AUD 1.5 billion. The pandemic got in the way of growth from 2020, but De Silva said he hopes these efforts will return Sri Lanka’s export figures to about AUD 1.5 billion by the end of the year.
“We set out to become a bridge for Australians who want to do business here, as there were no clear guidelines for that pathway and we were able to remedy that. We are once again trying to promote delegations to visit Sri Lanka, and we hope to reach pre-pandemic levels once again. Currently we are doing around AUD 1.3 billion annually, but there is scope for much more,” De Silva said.

OSL take:
Sri Lanka is in the process of reviewing and revamping the country’s trade tied with other countries. The trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country are being reviewed by the Sri Lankan government. Local authorities are also carrying out promotional campaigns in key foreign markets. It is in such a backdrop that Sri Lanka is being promoted through new campaigns in foreign markets, including Australia. Sri Lanka’s exports sector has shown a growth despite challenging economic conditions with the support of the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country. Local authorities are also engaged in creating awareness and supporting local export manufacturers to expand and diversify their product portfolios. There is therefore an overall expansion in the country’s exports sector. Given the growth and business potential in Sri Lanka’s exports sector, foreign businesses/investors could explore the growing opportunities in the sector.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20230912/Z_3

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