Sri Lanka food processing, education, heath interests UAE: visiting minister

Nov 25, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s food processing, education and health sectors and business process outsourcing sectors are of interest to the United Arab Emirates, visiting minister of foreign trade Lubna Al Qasimi has said. Minister Bathiudeen said Sri Lanka has free and preferential trade agreements with India and Pakistan and South Asia giving access to three billion people.

Samantha Ranatunga, president of Sri Lanka – Africa & Middle East business council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said the profitability of Sri Lankan firms was a good indicator UAE to invest in Sri Lanka.

UAE is estimated to have invested 66 million US dollars in Sri Lanka led by Al Ghurair Group and Al Futtaim groups.

“We are interested in Sri Lanka’s tourism, education and health sectors,” she was quoted as saying at a business forum in Colombo.

“Sri Lanka also has more to offer due to new growth sectors such as food processing and BPO.”

Trade between the two countries had increased to 581 million US dollars in 2010 from 528 million in 2009, Sri Lanka ministry of industry and commerce said.

Up to September 2011, trade had increased to 807 million US dollars with petroleum accounting for 267 million US dollars.