SL explores bilateral trade with Philippines

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The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Manila initiated a virtual introductory meeting between the State Trading Corporation of Sri Lanka (STC) and the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) on 13 January 2021 to discuss opportunities for mutually-beneficial trade engagements between Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

Ambassador Shobini Gunasekera, in her welcome remarks, enjoined the two organizations to pursue worthwhile initiatives in the trade sector with the goal of strengthening the bilateral trade relations of the two countries. She highlighted the importance of identifying areas for engagement in the trade sector where the strengths and expertise of both countries can complement on specifically in agriculture, information technology, processed food manufacturing, among others.

Deputy General Manager -Marketing of STC. Mahesh Mendis provided an overview of the mandate and functions of their institution.  He elaborated on Sri Lankan merchandise and products with high potential in the Philippine market as well as import prospects for Philippine products to the Sri Lankan market.

On the other hand, the PITC, represented by its officers; Vice President for International Trade Services Atty. Mark Brian Dela Cruz,  OIC-Vice President for Exports Joel Rodriguez, and, Manager of the Countertrade Department, David Inocencio mentioned their interest to work with the STC in identifying opportunities for Sri Lankan exports in the Philippines. They also committed to assist their counterpart agency in sourcing its import requirements.

The establishment of a framework agreement was also raised with the goal of streamlining collaboration and engagements between the two agencies. Both parties agreed to study the possibility of this initiative.

The STC is a fully government owned institution functioning under the purview of the Ministry of Trade of Sri Lanka. The organization is an esteemed institution well-rooted in the corporate sphere of the Sri Lanka, owing to its ability to cater to a large variety of industries and segments. Meanwhile, PITC is an ISO-certified state trading enterprise under the Department Of Trade and Industry-Philippines (DTI), mission-driven to help the Philippine government achieve its economic direction of market expansion and global competitiveness.