Sri Lanka, Singapore to ink first-ever B2B MoU in Colombo today
As Sri Lankan and Singapore business chambers ink a landmark MoU in Colombo today, Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen has hailed it saying that it is more than a bilateral trade event.
“The 30 May MoU is not only a milestone in our bilateral trade, but also a historic B2B linkage between two promising business hubs in Asia and as a result, it’s a momentous trade event for the overall region,” Minister Bathiudeen told his officials yesterday.
On 30 May, the first-ever signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and the Sri Lanka-Singapore Business Council will be signed followed by the first ever Sri Lanka-Singapore Business Forum at Galadari Hotel, ushering in a new era in historic bilateral relations between both countries.
“As for the business forum, it’s the first of this nature in our bilateral trade history but more importantly, it is a milestone in our trade since it shows that our business to business level linkages too have grown considerably, thereby showing the importance of our fourth largest international trade partner,” said Bathiudeen.
Welcoming K Shanmugam, the Foreign Minister and the Law Minister of Singapore, the Sri Lankan Minister said: “The fact that K. Shanmugam being accompanied by a strong business delegation involving small, medium and large scales alone holds promise for our bilateral trade with Singapore which is now at $ 1.85 b.
Such forward looking initiatives will strongly stimulate any unrealised trade potential between the two economies and will also help us to advance towards $ 20 Bn export target by 2020”.
The event is organised by the Sri Lanka-Singapore Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce to coincide the visit of Foreign Minister of Singapore K.Shanmugam from 26 May to 2 June. Shanmugam will accompany a high-powered delegation from the Singapore Business Federation.
“We have closed registrations for the ‘Sri Lanka – Singapore Business Forum’ much earlier than we originally expected due to the huge demand for participation from the Sri Lankan private sector” revealed Shamil Mendis, President of the Sri Lanka-Singapore Business Council. “The Forum will be followed by a B2B meeting session based on one-to-one interactions taking place between the Sri Lankan and Singaporean representatives” said Mendis who led a 14 member Sri Lankan business delegation to Singapore in 2010 June, successfully linking them up with no less than 160 Singapore firms of all three scales.
Singapore’s total trade with Sri Lanka in 2011 amounted to $1.94 Bn, of which $ 1.53 Bn were imports to Sri Lanka. From Singapore’s end, Sri Lanka is the 37th ranked global trading partner. Singapore firms in Sri Lanka are active in property development (Overseas Realty (Ceylon) Ltd), food and beverage processing (Prima Ceylon, Asia Pacific Breweries), logistics (Keppel Logistics), telecommunications (LankaCom, subsidiary of Singapore Telecom), apparel (Ghim Li Group) and conventions and conferences (Pico Global Services). In February this year, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at strengthening cooperation and promoting business and investment relations between the two countries, paving way for deeper collaboration between businesses of both countries.