Sep 22, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister said more German companies should invest in Sri Lanka and take advantage of the islands skilled labour force and regional ties, during the visit of his German counterpart.
“Now that Volkswagen is in, other German companies are taking an interest in Sri Lanka,” Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs said.
“We would also like to encourage other German firms, including those from the Mittelstand, to take advantage of Sri Lanka’s skilled labour force.”
“Improving governance and ready access to emerging markets along the Indian Ocean rim, including India and Pakistan, with whom Sri Lanka has free trade agreements, is also another advantage,” he said.
The Minister made these comments while addressing media together with German counterpart Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeir.
German based automobile manufacturer Volkswagen recently signed an agreement to invest 30 million US dollars to set up a vehicle assembly plant in Sri Lanka.
Germany is Sri Lanka’s fifth largest export market, accounting for nearly five percent of our exports. Last year our total exports were 824 million US dollars.
“Our target is for trade turnover to cross the 1 billion US dollar mark within the next few years,” the minister said.
“We look forward to regular high level interactions at all levels which will certainly pave the way for a more robust German – Sri Lanka relationship which will benefit our countries and our peoples.”
There are several areas in which Germany has agreed to assist Sri Lanka in building local capacity and sharing experiences.
“I would particularly like to highlight their contribution towards vocational training and skills development,”
“The German Technical Training Institute in Kilinochchi which the Minister hopes to visit this afternoon will be a tremendous boon to the youth of the North and Eastern Provinces,”
“The institute in Katubedda established nearly three decades ago has similarly hugely benefited young people of the South.”