Concerted effort by Sri Lanka to expand trade in Pakistan

Tuesday, 8 May 2018 00:02 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


The Sri Lanka Export Development Board under the directive of Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama arranged a successful inward delegation from Pakistan following the research done by EDB in 2017 on new opportunities in Pakistan, the second largest economy in South Asia. This mission also focused on maximising trade under the Pakistan Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (PSFTA) to achieve the export earnings of $ 20 million in 2020.

A business delegation from Pakistan visited Sri Lanka on 26 April 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 and Lahore with the representatives of the consultancy firm and the officers of the Sri Lanka Missions in Karachi and Islamabad. 

Following this, EDB organised 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 and B2B networking sessions too organised with identified buyers through the findings of the market research.

EDB Chairperson and Chief Executive Indira Malwatte made the opening remarks at the Sri Lanka-Pakistan Business Forum. She emphasised the fact 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 and beverages, gem and jewellery are some of other sectors having potentials in the Pakistan market.

Pakistan High Commission Commercial Officer Adnan Lodhi, representatives from Sri Lanka Tea Board, Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Authority, Board of Investment, 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 organised 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 G.L. Gnanadeva, Consul General of Sri Lanka in Karachi, Pakistan and the resource person of the seminar was Zeeshan Zafar, Director – Emerging Markets of Markematics 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.