Czech Republic first in line:
Businessmen mull investments in Lanka
Businessmen attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
(CHOGM) have shown a keen interest in enhancing trade and investment
opportunities in Sri Lanka which they said has a conducive environment
CHOGM side events will be launched today in Hambantota. Delegates
from Commonwealth and non Commonwealth countries have shown an interest
in setting up business, joint ventures and promoting bilateral trade.
A high-powered businesses delegation from the Czech Republic met
officials of trade chambers last week to explore business opportunities
and promote trade with Sri Lanka. Officials representing a large number
of companies from the Czech Republic held one-on-one business meetings
with their counterparts in Sri Lanka to enhance trade and boost business
between the two countries.
The delegates were impressed with the pace of development in Sri
Lanka and the conducive business environment in the country for trade
and investments.“We are pleased to see the rapid progress Sri Lanka has
made in achieving economic development. The Czech Republic is keen to
launch a vibrant political, social and economic dialogue with Sri Lanka
and strengthen economic, social and cultural ties,” Foreign Affairs
Minister of the Czech Republic, J. Kohout told a Sri Lanka-Czech
Republic Business forum last week organised by the National Chamber of
Commerce of Sri Lanka.
He said that the Czech Republic signed agreements on economic
cooperation with Sri Lanka and added that it is awaiting ratification by
the Government. “We have seen the vast strides Sri Lanka has made in the
port and aviation sectors which are vital to boost trade between the two
countries,” Kohout said. Trade between Sri Lanka and the Czech Republic
is below its potential and has been in favour of Sri Lanka. The value of
bilateral trade between the two countries last year stood at US $ 22
million with a gradual increase over the years.
“We are keen to expand trade with Sri Lanka which is an emerging hub
in the South Asian region.
Sri Lanka has a lot to offer to the world,” Ambassador of Czech
Republic, Miloslav Stasek said.
Sri Lanka exports apparel, tea, retreaded or used pneumatic rubber
tyres, fish and fishery products, gloves, mittens and mitts while it
imports synthetic rubber, heavy vehicles and parts, telephones and
machinery from the Czech Republic.
“We are keen to share our technology and expertise in energy,
environmental projects, water management, air pollution monitoring,
tourism and infrastructure development projects,” he said.
The Czech Republic formerly Czechoslovakia is known for crystals,
ceramics and has a vibrant tourism industry. The Czech delegation will
explore opportunities to boost tourism with Sri Lanka. Around 6,000
Czech tourists visited Sri Lanka in 2012. Visitors from the Czech
Republic recorded a marked increase with the strengthening of relations
between the two countries.The Czech business delegation will cooperate
in the chemical industry, hydro energy, sugar refining and solid waste
management, said an official of the Economic Chamber of Commerce of the
The Czech delegation said that participation in the Commonwealth
Business Forum will be a platform to exchange expertise and explore
investment opportunities in Sri Lanka.
Minister of Trade and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen said that the
‘Reflection of Sri Lanka’ exhibition held parallel to the CHOGM will be
a unique opportunity for business delegates to meet their counterparts.