Partner country Sri Lanka shines bright at Turkey’s Izmir, immediate orders snapped up

Wednesday, 18 September 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Lanka honoured to be a Partner Country at Izmir: Rishad
  • $ 65,000 Ceylon Tea orders now under negotiation
  • Lanka in five high-level official meetings on Izmir side-lines
  • Strong interest for EDB facilitated B2Bs with 46 meets
Sri Lanka, honoured as the first ever Asian Partner country at the Izmir Int’l Fair in Turkey, has successfully clinched several trade and business deals at this global event, while also pushing its historic trade ties with the easternmost NATO power to new levels. “We consider Turkey as one of the most important trade partners with high potential for trade growth and the present bilateral trade figure of $ 190 million is a credible starting point towards bigger trade, which in turn has shown an increasing trend over last five years,” said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen addressing the huge audience at the inaugural session of 2013 Izmir International Fair (the 82nd international multi-product exhibition series) on 29 August in Izmir, Turkey. Sri Lanka was the partner country at the 82nd show the first ever from Asia at this year’s event held in Izmir, which in turn is a candidate city for the global EXPO 2020 event. The Izmir exhibition series is one of the largest-and wide ranging industry fairs in the northern hemisphere encompassing many macro industries and their sub-sectors, which included, among others, food products and technology, automotives, furniture, decoration, household, appliances, white goods, passenger cars, trade vehicles, bicycle, motorcycles, construction and building materials, construction machinery, agricultural machinery, farming tools, HVAC and sub-industries, electric, electronics, computer, IT, telecommunication, general machinery, chemical and petrochemical products and related technologies. No less than 14 Lankan exporters and seven stakeholder institutions travelled with Minister Bathiudeen to the Izmir Fair as part of the 45-strong Lankan delegation. A minimum of 130 buyer leads were generated for Sri Lanka, according to the EDB. Immediate negotiations for Pure Ceylon Tea orders exceeding $ 65,000 materialised during the Izmir fair, along with other shipment-orders for coconut products, gem and jewellery, herbal teas and ceramics. Among investment inquiries received were, spare parts, bicycle tyres, motor cycle assembly and infrastructure development projects. In addition, 46 B2B meetings facilitated by EDB were successfully concluded. The Sri Lankan delegation, also facilitated by the EDB, concluded successful biz-meets with official delegations from Indonesia, Namibia, Lybia, Izmir Chamber of Commerce and Agean Chamber of Industry and Turkey’s Small and Medium Industry Development Organisation, KOSGEB. “On behalf of President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa and the people of Sri Lanka, I extend my sincere thanks to the Government of Turkey for giving this opportunity to Sri Lanka to act as the partner country in this international event, which is a great honour for us,”  said Minister Bathiudeen. The Minister added: “Sri Lanka’s major exports to Turkey represent Ceylon Tea which is world renowned for its colour, flavour and aroma, and also garments, rubber products, coir based products including activated carbon. We import woven fabric, machinery and other equipments from Turkey. Sri Lanka can offer many other products to the world as well, with her rich natural resources. To name a few, natural gems including world’s best blue sapphires, spices with inherent qualities including world famous Ceylon Cinnamon and mineral resources. “There are ample opportunities to set up value-added industries in various sectors, targeting local and international trade. For Sri Lanka, Turkey could be considered as one of the gateways to the EU region and in the same way Turkey could consider Sri Lanka as one of the gateways to Asia, as Sri Lanka’s strategic location which is geopolitically important and the opportunities made available under the two Free Trade Agreements with India and Pakistan and many more bilateral arrangements that are under negotiation. “Against this background, I consider that Sri Lanka’s participation at the Izmir fair is very timely and definitely plays an important role to enhance trade acting as a catalyst for the bilateral initiatives to proceed with the joint economic partnership efforts in an accelerated mode and thereby achieve sustainable economic development for both economies. “I have been given to understand that this international fair provides a platform to have interaction among the exhibitors who have come from almost 35 destinations which will create business interactions to promote international trade under one roof,” Minister Bathiudeen said.