Aug 17, Colombo: UK companies have won over US$ 3 billion worth business contracts in Sri Lanka in the last quarter, the British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka John Rankin has said.
The multi-million dollar contracts won by the UK companies are in the construction sector and in the airline sector for air frames and aero engines.
Rankin has revealed these during his address at the annual general meeting of the Council for Business with Britain (CBB) held recently in Colombo.
According to the High Commissioner, UK remains Sri Lanka's second largest trade partner by volume, after India. In 2012 Sri Lanka exported £907 million worth of goods to the UK, a 13% increase from the previous year, while UK exports to Sri Lanka amounted to £146 million with a trade balance favoring Sri Lanka.
The High Commissioner has also noted that the over 100 UK companies are successfully operating in Sri Lanka and expanding their businesses as the Island nation's economy grows.
Rankin said there are some challenges as Sri Lanka's economy slowed down and exports to UK declined in the first quarter of 2013. Growth in the UK also remains sluggish, he added.
However, UK exports to Sri Lanka in the same quarter increased 11% compared to a year ago amounting to £53 million.
The High Commissioner was however, hopeful that economic recovery is taking place in the UK as the UK economy grew in the second quarter of this year.
The High Commissioner said the UK wants to support Sri Lanka in its drive to attract further FDI.
"In that context we similarly urge increased transparency, simpler regulation and faster procedures, good governance and respect for the rule of law. It is these factors that can provide the certainties and assurances that companies require if they are to invest here," he said.