Sri Lanka-Poland business forum and B2B meeting

Friday, 9 March 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A twelve member business delegation, comprising of more than ten Sri Lankan companies in the fields of trade, investment and tourism – which was led by the State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake – visited Warsaw, Poland from 15 to 17 February.

 The visit was organised and coordinated by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Warsaw in association with the Sri Lanka Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Export Development Board. This delegation was the single largest Sri Lankan business delegation to ever have visited Poland, paving the way for Poland and Sri Lanka to enhance commercial ties.

On 15 February, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland organised a familiarisation tour (FAM) for the Sri Lankan business delegation. The group visited the Ptak Warsaw Expo and the Mazovia Voivodeship office. The Warsaw Expo is the largest international exhibition and conference centre in Poland, Central and Eastern Europe. It is dedicated to organising fairs, congresses, conferences and commercial events. The delegation also attended a business seminar and presentation, organised by the Mazovia Voivodeship office for investment and export, where they learned about business opportunities and methods of conducting business in Poland.

 On 16 February, the Sri Lankan delegation participated in the business forum organised by the Polish Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Warsaw.

 Guests of the event included the Sri Lankan State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake, representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Investment and Economy Development, Enterprise and Technology, State Secretary of Foreign Affairs Grace Asirwatham, Sri Lankan Ambassador in Warsaw Tissa Wijeratne, Polish Chamber of Commerce Vice President Marek Kłoczko, and business communities of the two countries, including representatives from more than 40 Polish companies.

 The forum was moderated by Director of the Foreign Relations Department of the Polish Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Jerzy Drozdz.  On this day, the State Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke of the liberalisation of the Sri Lankan economy and open policies created by the Sri Lankan government for foreign investors. He also invited businesses to increase the potential for economic and trade relations between Poland and Sri Lanka.

In his speech, Marek Kioczko introduced Sri Lanka as “a country that gives us a feeling of closeness to Poland and Polish economic development strategies will create a powerful combination for new growth opportunities for both countries.”

The speeches of the other participants were dedicated to the Sri Lanka-Polish cooperation in the spheres of trade, construction, infrastructure, agriculture, green energy and machine-building and additionally, to improve existing trade between the two countries and tap into the vast potential and opportunities that exist in many other fields including tourism. After the panels, the Sri Lankan business delegation had the opportunity to hold B2B meetings.

On 17 February, the Embassy of Sri Lanka organised a Sri Lanka-Poland business promotional event at the Embassy premises titled ‘Discovering business opportunities in Sri Lanka,’ with the support of the Polish-Asia Chamber of Commerce, the Polish–India Chamber of Commerce and the Polish business community. More than 80 representatives from Sri Lankan and Polish business organisations attended the event.

The State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign affairs Asirwatham, gave a detailed presentation on the opportunities for trade, investment and tourism in Sri Lanka. The participants were briefed on the latest economic developments in Sri Lanka. Ambassador Wijeratne spoke about the rapidly growing cooperation between Sri Lanka and Poland in the areas of trade, agriculture and food industry and about the opportunities for trade and investment in both countries.

He also reported on the growth of trade between Poland and Sri Lanka, including an increase in total trade ($130 million) by 39% in 2016, an increase in Polish exports to Sri Lanka by 32% and an increase in Sri Lankan exports to Poland by 10% compared to the previous year.

Sri Lanka Tea Board Director General Anura Siriwardena, made a presentation on ‘Sri Lanka Tea Industry – A success story.’ The Presidents of the Polish–Asia Chamber of Commerce and Polish–India Chamber of Commerce and other business leaders focused on the importance of seeking new opportunities and identifying areas of growth to enhance the Poland-Sri Lanka business cooperation. 

The Polish–Sri Lanka Business Association was also launched by a group of Polish and Sri Lankan businessman and professionals in order to promote business interests between the two countries. At the conclusion of the event, the Sri Lankan business delegation had the opportunity to hold B2B meetings with many Polish companies.