Mar 14, Colombo: European investors would consider the the favorable opportunities available in Sri Lanka and a high level delegation of the European Investment Bank (EIB) will visit Colombo at the end of this month to explore further avenues of economic cooperation between the European Union and Sri Lanka, the European Union Trade Commissioner has said.
During a meeting with Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama, European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrøm has expressed confidence that European investors would increasingly look at the favorable opportunities available in Sri Lanka in the context of the positive steps taken by the Government to create an investor friendly climate.
Minister Samarawickrama accompanied by Sri Lankan Ambassador to Belgium Luxembourg and the European Union Rodney Perera met with European Commissioner for Trade at the European Commission in Brussels on 12th March.
The Minister discussed with Commissioner Malmstrøm prospects for increasing bilateral trade and investment from the European Union with the enhanced opportunities expected following the Commission recommendation to restore the GSP+ facility to Sri Lanka. It was noted that bilateral trade turn over currently stands at approximately USD 5 billion annually and the EU accounts for 36% of Sri Lanka's total exports last year.
Minister Samarawickrama discussed the prospects for increasing investment and invited European companies to do business with Sri Lanka. He stated that there are many opportunities to invest in infrastructure development and also in the agriculture and dairy sector with the possibility of joint ventures. The Minister referred to the resumption of the EU Sri Lanka Investment Dialogue in January this year after a lapse of many years.
The Sri Lankan Minister briefed Commissioner Malmstrøm on the steps Sri Lanka is taking to bring about reconciliation, strengthen good governance and respect for human rights and the regular dialogue with the EU on matters of mutual interest.
During the meeting, Minister Samarawickrama also extended an invitation to Commissioner Malmstrøm to visit Sri Lanka at an early opportunity to which the Commissioner responded positively.