Aug 06, 2020 (LBO) – The Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Frankfurt am Main organised a Business Forum on 31 July 2020 on the occasion of the visit of Ambassador-designate of Sri Lanka to Germany Manori Unambuwe.
The Business Forum was attended by more than 35 guests including eminent entrepreneurs, potential investors and officials from the Chambers of Commerce and Economic Ministries from key southern Federal States in Germany. Theme of the Event was – ‘Opportunities to revitalize Bilateral Trade and Investment between Sri Lanka and Germany’.
Consul General Madurika Joseph Weninger welcomed the participants and highlighted the special relationship between Sri Lanka and Germany. She also added that the Year 2019 was a watershed year for bilateral trade between the two countries which exceeded a Billion Euros with the trade balance being in favour of Sri Lanka.
Ambassador Manori Unambuwe in her opening remarks stated that Germany is one of the largest trading partners of Sri Lanka and economic engagement between Sri Lanka and Germany has improved significantly over the past few years and has a huge potential to strengthen it further.
She further stated that greater liberalisation and reforms were introduced by the government of Sri Lanka to spur investment and trade. The Ambassador highlighted that in the face of global pandemic, priorities are being reassessed and notable trends are seen in industry segments of Information Technology, Health and Wellness, as well as green initiatives and sustainable development, which Sri Lanka is well poised to be a partner with Germany.
Speaking on growing demand for digitalization, the Ambassador highlighted the well-developed infrastructure and resource pool availability in Sri Lanka and invited German companies to consider Sri Lanka as an outsourcing destination. She further said ‘we are a signatory to the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) which provides protection and confidence to entrepreneurs engaging in software development and a series of webinars are being planned with relevant organisations to raise awareness of Sri Lanka as an ideal destination.’
Counsellor of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Germany Ahmed Razee presented an overview of economic developments between the two countries and underlined Sri Lanka’s unique geographical position combined with a skilled labour force and attractive incentives, which makes Sri Lanka an ideal launch pad to reach a broader market in the Asian region, through several Free Trade Agreements. He further shared the advantages of trade for SMEs which can leverage GSP Plus concessions to increase exports to the German market.
The Event concluded with the Consul General of Sri Lanka hosting a traditional Sri Lankan lunch to the Ambassador and the distinguished invitees to the Business Forum.
On the 30th of July, 2020 Ambassador Unmbuwe held meetings with Dr. Jurgen Ratzinger, Managing Director for International Business of the Frankfurt Chambers of Commerce and Industry, (IHK) and Mr. Johannes Richter, Unit Head for Southeast Asia of IHK to discuss opportunities to further increase Sri Lanka – German trade and investment cooperation.