Dutch biz delegation meets Basil

Monday, 16 September 2013 00:15 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Dutch businesses are bullish on Sri Lanka’s emergent prospects, a delegation from the Netherlands has informed Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa recently. “Sri Lanka’s historic links with the Netherlands have entered a new era. This strong business and investment delegation is the latest sign,” said Buddhi Athauda, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Netherlands on this to Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa at the Economic Development Ministry office recently. The Dutch biz delegation, which is on a week-long tour in Sri Lanka, consisted of reps from such leading Dutch firms as JIMPP Media, Abos, Defteq International BV, Beursgenoten, Fleurons & Prins, Velema Holdings, and Zonel Energy Systems. EDB facilitated presentations from various Lankan private sector firms – including Ceylon Tea and Tourism – were made to the visiting delegation. According to the BoI, currently 30 Netherland investment projects are in operation in Sri Lanka to a total investment value of $ 437 Mn. These projects have been ongoing from way back in 1978 (to-date). Among the well-known Dutch brands operating in Sri Lanka are Holcim (cement) and Northwest Fisheries. According to the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka’s total trade with the Netherlands has fluctuated during the last 14 years but balance of trade has continuously in favour of Sri Lanka recording the highest value of US$ 303.6 million in 2010. In 2012, the total bilateral trade between the two countries stood at $ 237.5 m. Tobacco, tea, fish products, solid rubber tyres and coconut products were Sri Lanka’s leading exports to Netherlands which totalled $ 158.6 m in 2012 while the country imported chocolates, orthopaedic appliances, ethyl alcohol, medicaments, tubes, pipes and hoses, and fittings from Netherlands last year. “Diplomatic relations between Netherlands and Sri Lanka go back to more than 60 years,” said EDB Executive Director Dr. Yousuf Maraikkar, addressing the event. “The Dutch influence still lingers in many areas our national life. Their great architecture vividly recalls us their presence in Sri Lanka. In 2012, the total bilateral trade between the two countries stood at $ 237.5 m. Sri Lanka is hosting the CHOGM and the Commonwealth Business Forum in November and parallel to this is the large scale exhibition by the EDB and I invite you to actively take part in it.”