Seven Sri Lankan companies travelled to Stockholm to hold 70 business meetings with 20 Swedish companies interested in outsourcing to Sri Lanka.
These meetings took place in the backdrop of the Digital Outsourcing Services Matchmaking Event organised by ITC in Stockholm on 21 May and within the framework of the EU-Sri Lanka Trade Related Assistance project funded by the European Union (EU) of which the International Trade Centre (ITC) is the lead implementing agency.
The Information Technology (IT) services and outsourcing market in Sweden is full of opportunities and Sri Lanka is an emerging global outsourcing destination, bolstered by many critical indicators such as a good Information & Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure, cost competitiveness, skilled labour and an enabling regulatory framework.
The participating Sri Lankan SMEs were beneficiaries of Export Marketing Plan (EMP) training sessions conducted by ITC within the mandate of this EU- Sri Lanka project, and were selected based on the positive financial outlookand other competitive criteria. In addition to EMP training, these companies receive support from ITC to access European and regional markets through business networking events and compliance of General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
The participating Sri Lankan companies are experienced in providing a range of solutions, with particular expertise and experience in mobile apps, web apps and design and development of websites. The prospective Swedish partners met operate in a variety of industries including insurance, banking, advertising and communications, mobile gaming, media streaming, IT consulting and others.
Speaking during the event, Azwaan Ameer from INEXIS Consulting said, “Our entire company strategy changed because of the EMP training that we underwent, we were not focussing more on what we should have been focussing and perhaps spending more resources than required on some other areas of focus. Therefore, the EMP training was not just an academic exercise, rather we applied our learnings and made a lot of changes in house and this helped us to uncover unique selling points for INEXIS. This has opened up new markets for us, new partnerships and new networks and relationships – I am very confident that all these partnerships exposed through project support will help us to attract a lot of customers”
Representatives from Swedish companies that took part corroborated this stating, “This B2B event has given us more confidence in what Sri Lankan companies have to offer. We have been working mostly inhouse for the last 30 years, and now we see the possibility of having a cooperation through outsourcing some of our work to Sri Lankan companies. There is a good possibility work with Sri Lanka through outsourcing, I did not know how much they have moved forward in terms of infrastructure development, we now have a very good picture through these B2Bs of the technology and knowledge of Sri Lankan companies, the companies that we have seen here are very advanced and very good companies”
“The EU-funded Trade-Related Assistance Project is contributing to the diversification of our export industry through its focus on the IT BPO sector. This provides opportunities to youth and, especially, women. Overall, the project aims to help local business to increase their competitiveness, reach new markets, and improve their prospects for growth. This is in line with the project’s overall objective of helping Sri Lanka to achieve inclusive trade-led growth and regional integration, which in turn can support poverty alleviation,” said the Head of Political, Trade, and Communications at the EU Delegation, Thorsten Bargfrede.