France to send delegation to Sri Lanka Expo 2012
The French business and industry chamber is planning to send a
delegation to Sri Lank Expo 2012, the mega export show in March 2012 in
It also wants French firms in Colombo to rally their support for this
event, said Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka Rishad
Pierre-Antoine Gailly, President of
the “Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris” [Chamber
of Commerce and Industry in Paris (CCIP)] explains a point
while Minister of Industry and
Commerce of Sri Lanka Rishad Bathiudeen looks on.
Minister Bathiudeen said this after his successful meeting with the
Pierre-Antoine Gailly, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry
in Paris (CCIP) and President of the Union of Chamber of Commerce and
Industry French Abroad or UCCIFE, and Jean lou Blachier, Vice Chairman
of CCIP and delegation of Seine Saint Denis, recently in the Chamber
The CCIP represents the interests of more than 300,000 corporations
in Paris that contribute to one fifth of France's GDP.
Minister Bathiudeen is currently leading a Sri Lanka business
delegation on a five-day tour to France, Belgium and Netherlands.
The delegation includes Director General/Sri Lanka Export Development
Board Sujatha Weerakoon and representatives from the private sector.
Briefing the Paris Chamber, Minister Bathiudeen said that under the
leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the government together with
the entire country including the North and the East is now gearing for
economic resurgence and development. "Sri Lanka has shown a steady
growth from 2010 " Minister Bathiudeen said.
Inviting the French industry and business community to Sri Lanka's
mega export show Sri Lank Expo 2012, Minister Bathiudeen said: "Sri
Lanka Expo 2012 is the mega international level trade exhibition to be
held in Colombo after a lapse of 14 years.
More than 300 exhibitors will display their products and services
including the world's best gem including Ceylon Sapphire, the world's
best spices including Ceylon Cinnamon, Services like IT/ BPO, the best
fishery products and exotic fruits and vegetables and new industries
like boat building. We invite high participation from France".
Minister Bathiudeen added: "EU region including France is a very
important market for Sri Lanka with more than 35% of our products
exported to EU and France is the 6th largest market in the EU for Sri
We wish to consolidate such markets by improving bilateral trade
between the two countries and through further French investments in Sri
Lanka. Though Sri Lanka is a small market it could be used as a gateway
to enter into bigger markets such as India, Pakistan and other Asian
countries. Sri Lanka has several trade agreements between such countries
where you could obtain preferential access through value addition in Sri
Responding to Minister Bathiudeen, Pierre-Antoine Gailly said France
will give its fullest support to organise a potential business
delegation for Sri Lanka EXPO 2012. "I request Sri Lanka to make use of
testimonials of French companies who are already in Sri Lanka to promote
the mega expo event of 2012" he said.
According to the Department of Commerce, Sri Lanka-France bilateral
trade stood at US$ 309.88 Mn during 2010.
Sri Lanka's exports to France have increased during last six years
except in 2009.
Apparels and clothing accessories have been the main export item from
Sri Lanka to France accounting for 59.39% of total exports in 2010
followed by Fish fillets, bicycles and other cycles, articles of
vulcanised rubber, frozen fish, and pneumatic tyres.