The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Ankara, Turkey in collaboration with the Board of Investment (BOI) of Sri Lanka and Export Development Board (EDB) of Sri Lanka, organised a promotional programme on “Business and Investment Opportunities in Sri Lanka “ from 15th to 18th May 2017 in Turkey.
During the 1st Session of the Joint Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation between Sri Lanka and Turkey which was held in November 2016, both sides agreed to increase bilateral trade volume between the two countries to US $ 500 Million by 2020. The recent programme was organised as a targeted effort in achieving that envisaged trade volume.
The first segment of the programme was held in Istanbul. On Monday the 15th of May meetings were held with the Turkish Ship and Yacht Exporters Association, Istanbul Apparel Exporters Association and Jewellery Exporters Association. During all three meetings, Ms. RenukaWeerakone, Executive Director/Monitoring of the BOI and Ms. AnomaPremathileke , Director/Market Development of the EDB briefed the Turkish side on opportunities in Sri Lanka and on the investor friendly environment which prevails in Sri Lanka. The responses from the Turkish side were warm and receptive. Turkish Ship and Yacht Exporters Association requested additional specific details to further discuss Sri Lanka’s proposals with their members while the Chairperson of the Apparel Exporters Association agreed to visit Sri Lanka shortly and engage in discussions with the stake-holders of Sri Lanka’s apparel sector. As the second biggest jewellery manufacture in the World, Turkey offers an immense trading potential to Sri Lanka’s precious and semi-precious stones. Istanbul Jewellery Exporters Association expressed its keenness to collaborate in achieving a win-win situation. The last meeting of the day was with the Chairman of Collin’s Jeans Company of Eroglu Holding, a prospective investor who is in process of expanding his apparel business to Sri Lanka.
On 16th May 2017, the Embassy partnering with Istanbul Chamber of Industry organized a seminar on “Business and Investment Opportunities in Sri Lanka” . Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Ankara, Mr. P.M. Amza and officials of the BOI and EDB made presentations on “why Sri Lanka should be chosen as a potential destination to invest in/to do business with”. This opportunity was also taken to invite the participants of the seminar to attend ‘Investment Conclave 2017’ to be held shortly in Colombo. In addition, the Ministry of Economy of Turkey also did a presentation on “Turkish- Sri Lanka trade relations- potential and the need to enhance the same”. A panel discussion was conducted where two Turkish businessmen who have already invested in Sri Lanka explained their success stories and detailed how easy it is to start a business in Sri Lanka. They also spoke with appreciation of the assistance/ facilitation extended by local –authorities. Number of participants showing interest to consider investing in /doing business with Sri Lanka took the initiative to exchange their information and requested further details with the intent to explore the possibilities.
The Ankara chapter of the programme commenced with “Sri Lanka Business and Investment Forum “held in collaboration with the Industrialists Businesswoman and Businessmen Confederation on 17th May 2017. The participants represented members of the business and diplomatic communities, journalists, representatives of the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the Economic Ministry. The Forum was inaugurated by the Spokesperson of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Ambassador HüseyinMüftüoğlu. Several participants made contacts with the BOI and EDB officials with the intent to do business with Sri Lanka.
On Wednesday the 18th May 2017, a meeting was held with the Ministry of Economy of Turkey where the two sides extensively discussed of the possible avenues to expand the trade volume between the two countries. Both sides suggested several constructive approaches in this regard.
Taking into consideration that the Turkey is the 2nd largest International Contractor in the world, at a meeting held with Board Members of the Turkish Contractors Association, Turkish contractors were encouraged to invest in Sri Lanka with a special emphasis on ongoing Megapolis Projects.
The programme concluded with a meeting held at the Ankara Chamber of Industry where again the participants were comprehensively briefed and encouraged on the benefits and the potential of trading with/investing in Sri Lanka.