Sri Lankan mission in Germany holds webinar on German-Sri Lankan economic relations
Sri Lanka’s Embassy in Germany in collaboration with the German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) and the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce (AHK) in Sri Lanka has reportedly held a webinar recently on ‘German Sri Lankan Economic Relations: Maritime Industry and Digitalisation Trends.’
According to reports, the webinar was organised with a view of sharing the vision and strategy of the Government of Sri Lanka in transitioning to a maritime hub, highlight new investment opportunities and to further foster bilateral relations. Over 70 representatives of shipping, freight-forwarding and logistics companies from Germany and Sri Lanka participated at the webinar, which was moderated by Andreas Hergenroether, Chief Delegate of AHK in Sri Lanka.
A panel of speakers including Minister of Ports and Shipping Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Parliamentary State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and Federal Government Coordinator for Freight Transport and Logistics Steffen Bilger, Federal Government Coordinator for the Maritime Industry Norbert Brackmann and the Foreign Secretary of Sri Lanka Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage had addressed the participants on ‘Opportunities of cooperation in the field of maritime affairs.’
Minister Abeygunawardena has reportedly elaborated on the plans of the Sri Lankan government in enhancing the capacities of Colombo and Hambantota ports, whilst focusing on digitalisation of the operation processes.
Parliamentary State Secretary Bilger has spoken of the prominence given by the Federal Government of Germany to the Indo Pacific region under the recently published Indo Pacific Guidelines and reiterated Germany’s interest to strengthen collaboration with Sri Lanka in the maritime sector.
Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Germany Manori Unambuwe has reportedly highlighted that the development of economic corridors integrating ports and airports, was a key focus of the Government’s policies and invited German companies to explore new investment opportunities that are in the pipeline.
Chief Executive of Foreign Trade and Member of the Executive Board, Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) Dr. Volker Treier in his opening remarks has reportedly observed the close economic relations between Germany and Sri Lanka. Bilateral trade in 2020 amounted to EUR 950 million.
Also addressing the participants, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage has noted that Sri Lanka, being strategically located, face numerous challenges in the maritime sector and highlighted the importance of the nation’s transition to a fully-fledged maritime hub, from its current position of a trans-shipment hub.
Federal Government Coordinator for the Maritime Industry Norbert Brackmann has observed that Sri Lanka has a geo strategic position in the Indo-Pacific region and is therefore a key player in the tremendous economic development and societal change Asia is seeing.
Sri Lanka’s economy has shown great resilience to external/internal pressures through the years and is once again on the path to recovery after facing the impact of the global Covid 19 pandemic. The island is once again poised to become a business hub in the South Asian region given its geographical positioning in the Indian ocean and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country. Sri Lanka’s EU GSP Plus trade concessions have helped the island’s trade with the EU including Germany. Sri Lanka’s tourism industry has also been a key sector that has captured the attention of the German tourism market through the years. German business/investors could therefore explore business opportunities in Sri Lanka and also look at forming partnerships/joint ventures with Sri Lankan businesses. Local businesses/investors could also look at forming partnerships/joint ventures with German businesses.
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