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* Sri Lanka takes a concerted effort to expand trade in Pakistan
Sat, May 5, 2018, 08:53 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 05, Colombo: Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) under the directive of the Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama has arranged a Pakistan delegation to visit Sri Lanka following the research done by the Board in 2017 on new opportunities in Pakistan.

The mission also focused on maximizing trade under the Pakistan Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (PSFTA) to achieve the export earnings of US$ 20 billion in 2020.

A Business delegation from Pakistan visited Sri Lanka on 26th April 2018 to participate in the Sri Lanka - Pakistan Business Forum, Business Seminar in Colombo and Business Seminar in Matara followed by B2B sessions to meet Sri Lankan Exporters.

The market/field research was conducted in September 2017 by an EDB officer with the service of a Pakistan Marketing Consultancy firm in Pakistan. The field market study on "Market Entry/Penetration Strategy for Identified Sri Lankan Products in the Pakistan Market" was focused on the potential product sectors viz. Rubber products, Electronic and Electrical products, Tableware and Kitchenware, of Porcelain, Cosmetic / Toilet preparations and products of Essential oil. Field market visits were also carried out in Karachi & Lahore with the representatives of the Consultancy Firm and the officers of the Sri Lanka Missions in Karachi and Islamabad.

Following this, EDB organized Sri Lanka’s participation at the "Expo Pakistan 2017" exhibition in Karachi, November 2017 with 14 Sri Lankan companies. A Sri Lanka Pakistan Business Forum & B2B networking sessions too organized with identified buyers through the findings of the market research.

Chairperson & Chief Executive of EDB Mrs. Indira Malwatte delivering the opening remarks at the Forum emphasized that despite the PSFTA between the two countries, trade performances are not at a satisfactory level.

The EDB has conducted the research to identify a strategy to increase exports to Pakistan in the identified sectors namely Rubber products, Electronic and Electrical products, Tableware and Kitchenware, of Porcelain, Cosmetic/Toilet preparations and products of Essential oil. In addition, tea, processed foods & beverages, gem & jewellery are some of other sectors having potentials in the Pakistan market.

Commercial Officer of the Pakistan High Commission Adnan Lodhi, representatives from Sri Lanka Tea Board, Sri Lanka Gem & Jewellery Authority, Board of Investment, and Sri Lanka Pakistan Business Council of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce made presentations to the visiting delegation highlighting the opportunities available in Sri Lanka in the respective sectors.

A successful seminar session to disseminate the research findings and B2B meetings were organized and more than 50 Sri Lankan exporters from different sectors were present to understand how best to penetrate the Pakistan market and the opportunities in Pakistan.

The Pakistan business delegation was led by Consul General of Sri Lanka in Karachi G. L. Gnanadeva and the resource person of the seminar was Zeeshan Zafar, Director - Emerging Markets of Markematics (Pvt.) Ltd, Pakistan.

The EDB also arranged the delegation to visit Southern Province to meet the Regional Export Community for B2B meetings and factory visits. 40 regional companies were registered to attend the networking session with the visiting delegation.


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