Belgium businessmen hunt in Sri Lanka for investment opportunities

Oct 25, 2006 (LBO) – A group of Belgian investors began a three-day visit in Colombo, scouting for potential investment opportunities to grow trade between both nations, officials said. Belgium’s ‘Duvel’ beer will also be launched in Sri Lanka to coincide with the visit. The trade balance is currently tipped in Sri Lanka’s favour, with Belgium shipping clothes, tobacco, vehicle tyres and candles to the island.

We have around 500 million euros in trade (with Sri Lanka) annually and large part of it is jewellery. The trade balance is also in favor of Sri Lanka Peter Verplancken Investment & Trade Commissioner said.

Sicille Kotelawala, Counselor for International Trade for the Kingdom of Belgium says, out of Sri Lanka’s total diamond exports, nearly 70 percent make its way to Belgium.

The diamonds which come in rough form to the island from the Benelux state is cut and polished as well as embedded into jewellery before they are shipped back.

Belgium has around 35 companies investing in Sri Lanka at the moment with over 14,000 people being employed Koenraad Pringiers first Secretary to the Consul for Kingdom of Belgium said.

The visiting del