Malaysia -Sri Lanka business Council to be set-up
The Malaysia – Sri Lanka Business Council will be set up soon to
boost bilateral trade and investment between the two countries said
National Chamber of Commerce(NCC) and Industry of Malaysia Secretary
General Dato’ Syed Al Habshee. He was speaking at a ceremony to renew
the bilateral trade agreement between Sri Lanka and Malaysia on Tuesday.
Habshee said that the Malaysia- Sri Lanka Business Council will be an
added strength to boost trade and explore investment opportunities in
both countries. The Council in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Malaysia
Business Council will promote ministerial level trade and investment in
both countries. The President of the new Council is the CEO of ASIATA,.
The two Councils will hold meetings each year alternatively and would
look at opportunities to enhance trade and tourism between the two
countries. Bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and Malaysia continues to
grow steadily and according to NCC sources trade between the two
countries will reach $ one billion this year.
Trade between Sri Lanka and Malaysia reached $ 814m last year with
exports from Malaysia amounting to $ 644m while imports accounted to $
169m which is a 37 percent and 119 percent in Malaysia's exports and
Crude rubber, chemicals and chemical products, textiles and clothing,
rubber products and processed food are some of the major items exported
to Malaysia by Sri Lanka while chemicals and chemical products, palm
oil, non- metallic mineral products, refined petroleum products and
electrical and electronic products are imported from Malaysia.
Malaysia has achieved vast economic growth attracting around 22
million tourists a year. The country recorded 24 million visitors last
year. The number of tourists to Sri Lanka last year was 854,000.
“Malaysia promotes education and health tourism. Over 80,000 students
visited the country last year. We had 4,000 from the Middle East and
around 10,000 health tourists from South Asia” a delegation member said.
High Commissioner of Malaysia to Sri Lanka, Azmi Zainuddin said that
there is enormous potential for growth in trade and investment between
Sri Lanka and Malaysia which has increased tremendously over the years.
“Trade volume will maintain its upward trend in the years ahead due
to the healthy ties and rapid development of the two countries”,
A 21- member high powered business delegation from the National
Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia toured the country to
explore trade and investment opportunities under an invitation from the
Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC).CCC Secretary General Harin Malwatte
said that around 116 business sectors will hold B-2- B meetings with the
“The renewal of the 20-year-old agreement will open a new chapter in
bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
The visit of the Malaysian delegation will pave the way for enhanced
trade and investment between the two countries”, Malwatte said.
Sri Lanka was admired as a model in the past but due to the conflict
and lack of political will slowed down prospects for higher economic
“We are keen to invest in Sri Lanka and develop business
partnerships”, a member of the delegation said.
The high bank interest rates and the devalued currency are
obstructing large scale investments, a CCC official said.
The recently concluded Sri Lanka Expo 2012 which attracted over 1,300
foreign delegates from over 60 countries,including a 50- member
delegation from Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry provided a
platform to promote business between Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
The visit of Dr. Mahathir Mohamad last year to Sri Lanka was a
historic occasion in the bilateral relation between Sri Lanka and
Malaysia.The Sri Lana Malaysia Business Council launched many
initiatives and provided leadership to a large number of new business
ventures since its inauguration in 1994.