Sri Lanka invited by St. Petersburg International Economic Forum to showcase investment and export portfolios
Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Industry and Commerce has said that Sri Lanka has been invited again to showcase its investment and export portfolios at the global forum, St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), which is also known as Russia’s Davos.
“This year’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) will have an exhibition the SPIEF Investment & Business Expo along with other events. We officially invite you to SPIEF 2018. This invite is directly from our Deputy Prime Minister Vladimirovich Dvorkovich,” Russian Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yuri Materiy has said on Wednesday (25).
Ambassador Materiy has made this comment during a meeting with Sri Lanka’s Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen at the Ministry.
Sri Lanka was invited for last year’s SPIEF as well-by the Russian Deputy Prime Minister.
The Industry and Commerce Ministry in a statement to the media noted that dubbed as Russia’s Davos, SPIEF is a huge annual conference targeting at the highest levels of government personalities across the world, often drawing high ranking participants.
Last year’s SPIEF saw more than 143 countries, 14000 visitors and 1100 companies, 700 from Russia. Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Secretary-General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the Prime Ministers of India, Gabon, Mongolia, and Dominica, were among the expo participants.
“This Forum has become a leading global platform for representatives of the business community to meet and discuss the key economic issues. It’s held under the auspices of the President of the Russian Federation. Our Deputy Prime Minister invites Sri Lanka to take part,” Ambassador Materiy has added.
Minister Bathiudeen has said Sri Lanka’s participation at SPIEF 2018 is a good opportunity to showcase its products to the global markets. “We thank for this invite and I shall discuss with the Department of Commerce and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama about our participation. SPIEF can help increase our exports to new Russian markets.”
According to the Department of Commerce, the balance of trade between Russia-Sri Lanka is in Sri Lanka’s favour. Lankan exports to Russia last year increased by 15% at US$ 210 million, from 2016’s US$ 182 million. Even total trade has increased in 2017 to US$ 384.63 million from 2016’s US$ 381.71 million.
Ceylon Tea has accounted for 83% of last year’s exports to Russia. Also, apparel, fibres and yarns, and tyres are other main exports to Russia.
The invitation extended by the Russian government to the Sri Lankan government to participate in the global forum in St. Petersburg indicates the recognition of the Russian business community in the potential for trade and investments in Sri Lanka. As shown in the statistics of the Department of Commerce, Sri Lanka and Russia already have strong trade ties that would be further strengthened Sri Lanka’s participation in summits similar to the SPIEF.
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