Exclusive zone for Indian and Pakistan markets

Nawaz Rajabdeen, President, FCCISL (extreme right) receives a token of goodwill from Cheng Ke, Assistant Consul Dept. of Commerce of Jillin Province of China.

Please set up an industrial zone in Sri Lanka to cater to Indian and Pakistan Markets was the earnest plea made by Nawaz Rajabdeen, President, Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) when a high powered trade delegation from Julin Province, China visited the FCCISL.

Rajabdeen said that as Sri Lanka has signed Free Trade Agreements with India and Pakistan and as such all what is manufactured in Sri Lanka with 35 percent value addition could be exported to these two countries with zero tariff charges.  He said that, but if those products are exported to those countries direct from China a heavy export duty will have to be paid when crossing the products to India or Pakistan.

He said that if the Jilin Province decides to set up an industrial zone in Sri Lanka, they could select an ideal location with all the amenities in place and the Sri Lankan Government would extend many attractive concessions on direct foreign investment in Sri Lanka. 

The Chinese Trade delegation was led by Xu Dechen, Vice Division Director, Department of Commerce, Jilin Province.  The main purpose of the visit of the Chinese delegation has been to promote the 4th China Julin Northeast Asia Investment and Trade Expo which is scheduled to be held from 2 to 6 September 2008 in China Jilin Changchun International Conference and Exhibition Centre.

FCCISL hopes to take a delegation from Sri Lanka so that those trade delegates could procure joint ventures, bilateral trade and other export and import matters that would mutually benefit Sri Lanka and China. 

Rajabdeen further said that FCCISL is closely connected with the Chinese Business Community. He said that the Federation of Chambers has been in the practice of sending Sri Lankan Trade Delegations to China and they have mutually benefited.

He said that there would be a lot of development activities in Sri Lanka and on account of these development and construction activities there would arise opportunities to have Sri Lankan and Chinese collaboration programmes.

Xu Dechen said that with a population of 680 million China takes up one fifth of the economic power of the world and the volume of exports and imports between China and the other five countries in Northeast Asia by 2006 accounted for 21.5 percent of Chinatotal foreign trade. 

He said that Jilin Province has become one of the most dynamic provinces in China.  In 2006 the gross regional product increased by 15 percent ranking the second in the country.  Increasing rate of fixed assets investment has topped the country for two consecutive years. 

The Jilin NE Asia Trade Expo is an initiative taken by the Chinese Government to promote economic and trade communication between China and other Northeastern Asian countries aiming for a platform to enjoy mutual benefits, exchange and cooperation, opening competition between these countries and China.

Samantha Abeywickrama, Secretary General/CEO, FCCISL said that FCCISL has been in the practice of organizing trade delegations to China and to various trade fairs held in different parts of China.  He said that authorities organizing those trade exhibitions in China have been granting concessions and made a request from these officials from the Jilin Province, Department of Commerce to make the same type of concession for the delegation who would visit Jilin Expo from Sri Lanka.

Cheng Ke, Vice Director General, Dept of Commerce, Jilin Province who looked after such arrangements said that they would certainly extend all such possible concessions.

Hildon Hamangoda, Director, SAARC and International Affairs, FCCISL said that he has been organizing trade delegations to China for the last 12 years and last December they have led a trade delegation to the Kunming Trade Fair where the Sri Lankan Pavilion was adjudged best among the pavilions of other countries.


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