June 11, 2015 (LBO) – British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka James Dauris says that he is optimistic about future economic ties with the Island.
“Relations in the past few years have been a bit difficult but it’s now a good time for Sri Lanka and Briton to be doing business together as we are both Island nations and this makes us all outward looking,” Dauris said Wednesday.
“There are lots of opportunities for British companies here; a good example is Millennium IT.”
UK is one of the top 10 investors in Sri Lanka but the balance of trade has risen significantly in favor of Si Lanka in recent years.
Comparing trade in goods over the period of January to December 2013 and 2014, UK imports from Sri Lanka have increased by 36 percent and UK exports to Sri Lanka has decreased by one percent.
Data shows that in 2014, Sri Lanka exported 1,158 million pounds worth of goods and services to the UK while they exported 165 million pounds worth goods to the Island.
In 2013, UK exported 167 million pounds worth goods to the Island and Sri Lanka exported 849 million pounds worth goods to the U.K.
“This made the trade imbalance heavily in favor of Sri Lanka.” Gary Leslie, Head, UK trade and Investment told LBO.
He said that in the longer term, Britain must look to address this imbalance; there are many reasons for us to promote and further bilateral trade.
“Sri Lanka’s geographical location is advantageous as it can reach out to all of South Asia,”
“On first inspection what looks like a market of 21 million actually has the potential to capture a market of over 1.6 billion,”
“Sri Lanka has Free Trade Agreements with India and Pakistan which can reduce import tariffs into those countries, though there are conditions attached to this and it is not permissible for all goods, products and services.” Leslie further said.