Sept 06, Colombo: A large high-profile South African business delegation has arrived in Sri Lanka Wednesday on a four-day visit to explore investment opportunities.
The delegation comprising about 30 members of the Progressive Business Forum of African National Congress (ANC-PBF), the ruling ANC's influential business collective, is led by the South African Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Prof. Hlengiwe Mkhize.
"We extend a warm welcome to the strong business delegation led by South Africa's Deputy Minister of Economic Development Ms Hlengiwe Mkhize, to Sri Lanka. I have no doubts that this visit would help further strengthen current trade levels of $ 65 million," Sri Lanka's Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiyutheen has said in a statement.
The ANC-PBF delegation represents sectors such as construction industry, mining, agriculture and tourism.
During their visit from September 5-8, the delegation will explore investment opportunities in urban property and shopping malls.
According to the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka, South Africa has become the most important trading partner for Sri Lanka in the Southern African region.
The bilateral trade between the two countries has seen a steady increase in growth in both exports and imports. During last year, South Africa's exports to Sri Lanka have amounted to US$ 35.5 million and imports from Sri Lanka have amounted to US$ 29.7 million.
The South African private sector is also becoming involved in Sri Lanka's expanding economy. South African gaming and hotels group Sun International Ltd has finalized a deal to invest US$ 800 million to build a hotel complex in Sri Lanka's northwestern coastal town of Katana.
A top Sri Lankan Business delegation has visited South Africa in July as part of a joint initiative of the Sri Lanka High Commission in Pretoria and the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB), to take part at the SAITEX 2012 International Trade Fair in Midrand, which featured a special Sri Lankan pavilion.
Among the delegation were nine companies from various sectors which included porcelain tableware, Ceylon black tea, green tea, organic tea, and spices.