Sri Lanka could boost exports to Australia by US$ 1,622 mn– CCC



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(L-R) Ms. Dhara Wijayatilake- CEO, Ceylon Chamber, Bryce Hutchesson, Australian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Senaka Silva, New Zealand Consul General and Manjula Lanerolle, SLANZBC president at the launch of Research Brief on Trade and Investment between Sri Lanka – Australia and Sri Lanka – New Zealand. Pic by Nishendra Silva


by Sanath Nanayakkare


Sri Lanka can boost exports to Australia by US$ 1,622 million – ten times its current export volume – if the top 10 products with the highest indicative trade potential can be properly harnessed, a report compiled by the Economic Intelligence Unit of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce states.


Anushka Wijesinha, chief economist and head of economic intelligence unit of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce launching the report on Trade and Investment between Sri Lanka – Australia and Sri Lanka – New Zealand said,"The Ceylon Chamber does not only follow headlines on GSP+ and FTAs but we also examine trend lines that signal where each region of the world is going economically to help create the kind of trade future that benefits Sri Lanka".


This research analysis will be of benefit for firms doing business with Australia and New Zealand and vice versa, and prospective trade and investment partners and policymakers.


Main takeaways from the analysis indicate:


• There is plenty of opportunity for enhancing trade volumes with the two countries and Sri Lanka within existing categories


• There is room for trade in new categories, as identified in the analysis


• For Sri Lankan exporters, a first step would be to look at the top 10 categories to boost exports


Speaking at the event, Bryce Hutchesson, Australian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka said, "There are very encouraging aspects to doing business in Sri Lanka, but there are several improvements to be made which not only Australian but any international investor would like to see".


"Sri Lanka is investor-attractive in terms of its close proximity to major markets, it has good infrastructure and the best city in the region with an educated workforce. Nonetheless, investors encounter regulatory uncertainty, inadequate transparency and difficulty in navigating bureaucracy. I had a discussion with Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera recently and he said that he would look into implementing appropriate fiscal reforms to improve the business environment for investing in the country. Business environment in Sri Lanka is good but there's more to do," the High Commissioner noted.


Hutchesson also noted that Australian investments in Sri Lanka doubled over the period of last year and that there would be 'serious' Australian investments in the pipeline beyond 2018.


SLANZBC President Manjula Lanerolle said "'the SLANZBC looked at doing a comprehensive study analysis for its members and associate members to explore product items which could be boosted on trade between the two countries. This is an analysis on trade potential looking at items that Sri Lanka could export more to Australia, New Zealand and vice versa".


The top ten products with the highest indicative trade potential are primarily in apparels, oils, and food extracts/flavours.


The research brief could be obtained from the Secretariat of Sri Lanka Australia New Zealand Business Council, C/o the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, 50 Nawam Mawatha, Colombo 2.


email : cherryl@chamber.lk


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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