A group of 20 delegates representing 13 innovative New Zealand companies will arrive in Colombo on 2 April for a three-day visit to continue forging business and trade links with Sri Lanka.
The delegation, led by New Zealand Trade Commissioner for Sri Lanka Ralph Hays builds on the momentum of previous missions and strengthens New Zealand’s relationship with Sri Lanka ahead of the New Zealand High Commission opening in Colombo in 2019.
“It’s great to welcome New Zealand businesses to Colombo again,” said Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Secretary General and CEO Dhara Wijayatilake. “Sri Lanka is focused on diversifying its trading relationships and visits from overseas delegations are an important part of developing those connections. This trade mission will provide an opportunity for New Zealand companies to establish and consolidate partnerships with current and potential Sri Lankan business partners.”
The New Zealand companies on this mission are a reflection of the country’s diverse economy, representing areas such as medical technology, software and hardware technology, design and construction, marine, and aviation training.
“We continue to see strong interest from New Zealand and Sri Lanka in strengthening business relations between both countries,” says Hays. “Both New Zealand companies as well as the Government are focused on pursuing commercial opportunities in the dairy, infrastructure, marine, aviation and information technology sectors with Sri Lanka.”
Two way trade between New Zealand and Sri Lanka has grown by 31% over the past three years, and is now worth NZD 367 million (Rs. 41.3 billion). The majority of trade in goods is commodity based, but there are increasing opportunities in a variety of sectors including tourism, aviation, agriculture, electronics and education.
Hays leads New Zealand Trade & Enterprise’s (NZTE) activity in Sri Lanka and South India. He has been with NZTE for seven years and during this time has been Trade Commissioner and Consul General in Sao Paulo and Business Development Manager for Spain and Portugal based in Madrid. NZTE is New Zealand’s international business development agency.