A ministerial delegation led by International Trade State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe, together with the representatives from the Board of Investment (BOI), Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) and Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) held meetings related to trade and investment promotions in Turkey recently.
The delegation also attended the 86th Izmir International Fair opening ceremony and seminar programme.
Minister Senasinghe was awarded a ceremonial welcome by the Trade and Customs Minister and Deputy Economy Minister in Turkey.
Minister Senasinghe held very productive meetings with trade chambers in Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir in addition to attending the Izmir International Fair. Investments and Sri Lanka’s entry into the Turkish Market are stated as at the top of his agenda.
“As our bilateral trade grows I invite the prospective Turkish investors to invest in Sri Lanka. We have allocated 20,000 acres for five free trade zones of which the first will be opened at Kalutara District. Also investors could gain immediate access to the South Asia’s huge market through us,” said Minister Senasinghe addressing Ankara Chamber of Industry.
He has proposed to initiate Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Turkey’s aggressive attempts to strengthen economic relations between the two countries. The two parties took stock of all exports and investment engagements especially in textile, tea and boat building sectors. One of the major highlights of the State Minister’s visit was his effort to introduce Sri Lanka’s new products to the Turkish market.
Turkey is the 16th export destination for Sri Lanka and accounted for 1.5 percent of total exports from Sri Lanka in 2016. Total export value from Sri Lanka to Turkey was US$154 million in 2016 and total imports from Turkey to Sri Lanka for the same period was US$69 million.
Sri Lanka’s main export products to Turkey in 2016 were tea (value added and bulk), woven fabrics, apparel, pneumatic tyres, activated carbon, coco peat and fiber pith, desiccated coconut, industrial and surgical gloves of rubber and essential oil. The main import products from Turkey were electric machinery, animal fat, leather, processed food, woven fabric, cotton during the same year.
This event was coordinated by Sri Lanka Export Development Board and Sri Lanka Embassy in Turkey.