Sri Lanka attracts business interest at the China International Import Expo
The Sri Lanka Pavilion at the third China International Import Expo (CIIE) that was held in Shanghai, China from 5-10 November had attracted many business persons particularly in the food sector, local media reports stated.
The Sri Lanka Embassy in China and Consulate General in Shanghai in coordination with the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) and the Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry had teamed up with seven Sri Lanka companies through their representatives in China to showcase tea, coconut products, spices including Ceylon cinnamon, herbal products, rubber products and confectioneries, a news report in the Daily FT stated.
Sri Lanka’s participation was reportedly organised on the guidance of Sri Lanka’s President with the view to increase exports of Sri Lanka to Chinese market and narrow down the trade balance between the two countries. Sri Lanka Ambassador designate to China Dr. Palitha Kohana had coordinated the participation with the Sri Lanka agencies.
Accordingly, 27 Sri Lankan companies had participated in business matchmaking meetings online (B2B) arranged by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Being in coordination with the Bank of China and the EDB.
In addition, video footage of Sri Lankan products had also been played in the pavilion and the video had also included tourists’ attractions in Sri Lanka, investment opportunities in the Port City and Hambantota Industrial Zone.
Traditional Sri Lankan dances and music which were played on the screen had captured the attention of the visitors.
A memorandum of understanding (MOU), which is expected to create an online Sri Lanka Pavilion in Womai.com online platform, was signed between the EDB and the China Oil and Foodstuffs Company (COFCO).
According to Daily FT, the Chairman of the EDB had placed his signature in the MOU via video link.
The COFCO is a State-owned enterprise and was founded in 2009. COFCO Womai is the first large B2C vertical food e-commerce platform in China, headquartered in Beijing. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the COFCO Group.
Sri Lankan producers who want to market their products in this Pavilion are requested to contact the EDB.
The news report further stated that a notable event of the Sri Lanka Pavilion was the handing over of a letter of recommendation signed by the EDB Chairman to Prestige International Company Ltd. to commence Sri Lankan products promotion on JD.Com platform.
JD.com is the most popular online platform in China and one of the 500 fortune companies.
JD.com records 420 million annual customers and US$ 83 billion annual income and 90%of the orders in its online platform are made using mobile phones apps.
Another major achievement was the signing of three strategic cooperation agreements between Prestige International Ltd. and Silver Mills SL Ltd., Stuarts Tea SL Ltd. and Saraketha Organic Ltd. These agreements are expected to generate 5.5 million of RMB trade between the parties in 2021.
Sri Lanka and China enjoy strong business/trade ties spanning many decades. The two countries are also in the process of finalising a free trade agreement. China plays a key role in Sri Lanka’s development programme as well. Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean, ease of doing business environment, the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country have made it a business hub in the South Asian region. Chinese businesses/investors could therefore confidently explore business opportunities in Sri Lanka.
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