AHK Sri Lanka encourages SL-German trade interaction | Sunday Observer

AHK Sri Lanka encourages SL-German trade interaction

Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama with the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka (AHK Sri Lanka) officials at the launch.
Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama with the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka (AHK Sri Lanka) officials at the launch.

The Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka (AHK Sri Lanka) called upon Sri Lankan companies to explore opportunities for trade with Germany while also encouraging German companies to explore ventures in Sri Lanka.

The delegation has recognised textile, tea, rubber, IT/BPO and gem and jewellery as some of the potential sectors in Sri Lanka that could build trade ties with German companies and expand the footprint on the continent.

The office of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka (AHK Sri Lanka) was inaugurated in Sri Lanka in March to promote German and Sri Lankan business ties.

AHK Sri Lanka is a part of the German Chamber Network supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMW). With 142 locations in 92 countries, AHKs with the Chambers of Commerce and Industry (IHK) represent more than 3.5 million German companies.

The Delegation has lined up a series of two-way trade delegation visits between Sri Lanka and Germany this year to boost bilateral economic relations between the two countries.

A delegation representing the IT/BPO sector in Sri Lanka will attend an IT trade fair from June 10-13 in Hanover, Germany.

This will be followed by a sectoral delegation led by the Ministry of Trade and Commerce in September. A visit by a manufacturing sourcing delegation from Germany has been scheduled for November.

AHK Sri Lanka invited a delegation this year to Sri Lanka to explore opportunities in the wind energy sector in Sri Lanka. According to an official of AHK, Sri Lanka, discussions between German companies and their counterparts in Sri Lanka for joint ventures are progressing.

Chief Delegate, AHK Sri Lanka Andreas Hergenroether said Germany is keen to take bilateral trade with Sri Lanka to the next level.

Last year was a record breaking year for bilateral trade between our two countries.

We are strictly committed to fair business and that is why we would support Sri Lankan business in the same way we do for Germans. Bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and Germany reached 1,25 billion Euro with exports to Germany growing by 13 percent to 654 million Euro while imports from Germany increasing by 81 percent to 571 million Euro in 2017.

“Sri Lanka raises more interest for German sourcing in the IT/BPO sector, food and textiles. German investments in the apparel industry, building materials, industrial gas production, precision technology and insurance sector are underlining the country’s diversified opportunities,” Hergenroether said.

However, according to AHK Sri Lanka officials visibility is a key factor which Sri Lanka lacks to position itself for global trade. Creating awareness and marketing of potential sectors are key elements for Sri Lanka to break into key global markets.

Deputy Ambassador to Germany Andreas Berg said Sri Lanka is a vital market for German industries some of which have been operating in Sri Lanka for a quite a long time.

“Reliability and transparency are key factors for bilateral trade and foreign direct investment growth even if the legal framework of a country is not up to the mark,” Berg said.

Fifty one German companies registered under the BoI operate in Sri Lanka.

Kramski, a German precision technology company employing over 400 Sri Lankans marks its 40th year in Sri Lanka, Eskimo, a textile company, Ceylon Oxygen, a member of the Linde Group, Singer Cement and BASF, a chemical company, are some of the German business establishments in Sri Lanka.

German engineering and its global reputation for precision technology are hallmarks of the country while also being known for some of the renowned cars such as BMW and Porsches.

“Reliability and transparency are key factors for bilateral trade and foreign direct investment growth even if the legal framework of a country is not up to the mark,” Berg said. 

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