UAE-Sri Lanka trade tops $ 1 b mark in 2011
DUBAI: The value of trade between the UAE and Sri Lanka has increased from $720 million to $1.1 billion in 2011, officials said. MM Abdul Raheem, Consul General of Sri Lanka in Dubai, said that Sri Lanka’s total export to the world has increased its values from $7,122 million in 2009 to $10,017 million in 2011, while the export to Middle East region witnessed a significant increase worth $980 million from $749 million during the same period.
“Out of the one billion US Dollar worth business deals between the two countries, the export to the UAE has been estimated at $3,00 million and the import from the UAE (mainly oil and gas products) has been valued at $7,00,” he added.
“Other major products exported from Sri Lanka to the UAE includes natural rubber, coconut oil, desiccated coconut, copra, areca nut, cashew essential oil, fruits and vegetables, spices, processed foodstuff, seafood, rubber products and toys,” he elaborated.
Speaking at a business networking meet as part of the Gulfood exhibition in Dubai on Monday, Raheem disclosed, “Sri Lanka is the second largest tea exporter in the world after Kenya, as well as the 4th largest tea producing country after China, India and Kenya. The UAE is the second largest importer of Sri Lankan tea products.”
“Sri Lanka is planning to increase the volume of exports off food beverages to the Middle East and the UAE by introducing new range of products. Sri Lankan entrepreneurs and mission are seeking market opportunities available for lucrative business transactions in the region,” he said.
According to him, eradication of terrorism from the island has spurred interests of local and global investors in a vibrant range of sectors. The end of the ethnic war, which was the biggest obstacle for attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Sri Lanka, has significantly benefited the country.
“The post-LTTE era has witnessed a steep rise in the influx of foreign investments in Sri Lanka, with a 14 per cent increase of foreigners’ arrival for business purposes last year,” noted the Consul Genral.
He invited the UAE business community in the UAE to invest in the island by participating at Sri Lanka Expo 2012, scheduled to be staged in Colombo from March 28 to 30.
The Sri Lanka mission in Dubai will lead a high-powered delegation to visit ‘Expo 2012’ in Colombo, in tandem with Sri Lanka Business Council and Dubai Chamber of Commerce, other trade promotional institutions and business leaders.
The Sri Lanka Export Development Board targets 50 participants from the UAE to attend the global trade, investment and tourism programme, which showcases the best that the island paradise has to offer.
“Sri Lanka has an open market economy and is the first country in South Asia to liberalise its economy. The government provides special assistance on real estate acquisition based on investment and employment generation potential. Tax holidays for five years and a concessionary rate of income tax is applicable across the board,” concluded Rahim.
- Ministry of Industry & Commerce
- Ministry of External Affairs
- Ministry of Economic Development
- Ministry of Plantation Industries
- Sri Lanka Export Development Board
- Department of Commerce
- Board of Investment
- Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority
- National Gem & Jewellery Authority
- Sri Lanka Export Credit Insurance Corporation
- Sri Lanka Ports Authority
- Department of Export Agriculture
- Sri Lanka Tea Board
- Coconut Development Authority
- National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka
- National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka
- Ceylon Chamber of Commerce
- Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Srilanka