Fifty-member SL biz delegation at London CBF | Sunday Observer

Fifty-member SL biz delegation at London CBF

A 50-member Sri Lankan business and trade delegation will participate at the Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF) in London this week.

This is the largest ever business and trade delegation targeting the Commonwealth.

“Sri Lanka is one of the Strategic Partner Countries of CBF 2018. Therefore, the Department of Commerce is organising many informative country presentations, B2Bs and roundtable conferences on Lankan sectors of investment at the CBF,” Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen told a preparatory meeting organised by the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka (DoCSL) with Lankan business and government representatives on the forthcoming CBF.DG Commerce Sonali Wijeratne and Kosala Wickramanayake who leads International Business Council (IBC) of Sri Lanka were also present.

Sri Lanka will also launch its ITC brand slogan ‘Island of Ingenuity-Knowledge Solutions’ during the 2018 CBF country presentations. Minister Bathiudeen is due to lead the over 50-member delegation to London – the largest ever Lankan delegation in CBF’s history - to be held from April 16-18.

This is the first ever CBF to be held in London since its inception in 1997. DoCSL is partnering with the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (SLEDB) in this initiative.

Sri Lanka is considered as one of the major ‘emergent FDI-attracting Commonwealth Destinations’ (along with Bangladesh and Singapore). Around 27% of Sri Lanka’s annual global trade in ‘goods’ is being done with the Commonwealth while 40% of Sri Lanka’s global trade in ‘services’ is done with the Commonwealth. Sri Lanka’s country share of Intra-Commonwealth imports is around 3%.

The Commonwealth plays a silent but significant role in Sri Lanka’s new trade reforms. In 2016, Commonwealth Secretariat’s Head and Adviser of Trade Competitiveness, Dr. Rashmi Banga stressed in Colombo that the Secretariat is “providing technical assistance to the Department of Commerce in Sri Lanka in the Department’s (work on) Free Trade Agreement negotiations.” The Secretariat has already analysed and identified 40 new products and 15 new markets for Lankan exports that could add $2 bn more to the Lankan export revenue.