The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka hosted Ambassador of the Czech Republic Milan Hovorka who lead business delegation from the Czech Republic currently visiting Sri Lanka to look at opportunities for trade and investment. The Czech delegation consisted of representatives of leading Czech companies such as Viktovice Power Engineering, Eldis, Fans, Skoda Doosan Power and Technoexport.
The sectors covered were heavy machinery, radar systems, air traffic control, steel cylinders, vehicle and steam turbines, nuclear power systems, food, cooling towers, power generation and crude oil processing.
Chairman of BOI Upul Jayasuriya met the Czech delegation. He was assisted by ED (Investment & Promotion) Renuka Weerakone, Director (Media & Publicity) Dilip S Samarasinghe, and Director (Promotion)Nilupul de Silva.
Ambassador Hovorka brought to the attention of the BOI representatives the areas of interest of the Czech Republic companies. These included projects in hydro power, radars for Airports, Aircraft maintenance and overhauling, Airport infrastructure, sugar production and many other areas.
The Czech Republic is a highly industrialised Country with a healthy and rapidly growing economy. The country is also a member of the European Union and has had excellent relations with Sri Lanka. The Ambassador mentioned that an early project was the Kantale Sugar plant which was built by the then Czechoslovakia.
Currently trade between Sri Lanka and the Czech Republic is small. The Czech Republic imports $50 billion of product from Sri Lanka and including textiles, garments and tea while Sri Lanka only imports about $10 million worth of Czech made products. This meeting is to be considered as laying the foundations for a ministerial level meeting between the two countries.
During the period of former Czechoslovakia there had been a significant trade of Czech products which were exported to Sri Lanka. However, commercial relations between the two countries had not expanded and steps are being made to upgrade relations between the two countries with a strong focus on economic relations.