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Sunday, 12 May 2013





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Germany mulls more trade opportunities with Lanka

As Sri Lanka and the leading economy of the EU, the Federal Republic of Germany, mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations, the Eurozone leader is looking to enhance its profile in Sri Lanka significantly.

"I too believe that there is strong unrealised potential for trade and investment cooperation between the two countries as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of bilateral relations. A top German investment delegation will visit Colombo this October," said German Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Dr. Jürgen Morhard when he paid a courtesy call on Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen at the EDB premises in Colombo recently.

At the 2013 DAW Asia Pacific Forum at Maritim Hotel in Frankfurt on February 25, the Immediate Past President of DAW German-Asian Business Circle (Deutsch-Asiatischer Wirtschaftskreis e. V), R A Ekkehard Stein said that DAW will send a representative team of German investors to study emerging opportunities in Sri Lanka. "The team would visit Sri Lanka this August or somewhat later."

"Dr. Morhard, did not specify the details of the investment delegation arriving in October. Several notable German private sector giants were in attendance at the 2013 DAW Asia Pacific Forum in Frankfurt, where Vietnam and Sri Lanka, the only two Asian economies invited to the Frankfurt session, made presentations to a group of potential German investors and business ventures seeking to expand to new destinations in Asia," an Industry and Commerce spokesman said.

Among the companies present were Eurex Frankfurt AG, Duetsche Borse Group, IVP Group Germany GmbH, Asico Handels GmbH, Mazars GmbH, Adam Opel AG and Rigging Service GmbH.

Germany is the leading Eurozone investor in Sri Lanka with 170 investment projects in the country. German investments in Sri Lanka are protected by the bilateral Investment Protection Guarantee Agreement. Among leading German firms in Sri Lanka are BASF Finlay and Kramsky GMBH.

"On behalf of our government, I extend our thanks to the Deutsch-Asiatischer Wirtschaftskreis e. V and the German government for giving the opportunity to Sri Lanka to showcase its new upswing at the 2013 DAW Asia Pacific Forum," said Minister Bathiudeen.

"As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of our bilateral relations, I realise that there is strong potential for trade and investment between the two countries that we can jointly explore," he said.

"We encourage German firms to invest in our rare earth elements (REE) and mineral sand. We like Germany's high industrial expertise and know-how that can enhance Sri Lanka's mineral sand sector. This is a sector we believe that urgently needs value addition, to capitalise on the emerging global opportunities presented by this commodity," the Minister said.

"We too are exploring Lanka's REE and mineral sand sector," said Dr. Morhard, and added, "I am already talking with a German firm regarding investing in Sri Lanka's REE and mineral sand sector."

Not only top German mining groups such as Deutsche Rohstoff AG, but even leading German energy firms such as Siemens AG are keen consumers of REE and mineral sand in bulk.

In 2012, Germany purchased $ 0.91 million worth of REE and mineral sand from Sri Lanka of which 92% consisted of graphite. In the same year, Sri Lanka's overall rare earth and mineral exports to the world was valued at $ 42.7 million, an increase of 30% from $ 32.86 million in 2011. 65% of Y2012 exports consisted of mineral sand followed by silica and quarts (20%), graphite (10%), mica (3%) and other natural sands (2%).

China was the lead buyer of Lankan mineral sand in 2012. The lead buyer of 'other natural sands' was India.



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