‘Want Chinese imports to boost exports’ - Bathiudeen
39-member Guangzhou delegation in town
2014 Sino-Lanka biz at $ 3.7 bn
‘Trade with China doubled since 2009’ - Bathiudeen
Imports to Sri Lanka are 95% of bilateral trade
The first trade and business pact between Sri Lanka and the capital city of mainland China’s Guandong Province, Guangzhou, was inked in Colombo on 3 July.
“Today’s MoU signals a new opening for Lanka-China bilateral relations at business-to-business levels. We want to increase our exports to China, we also continuously use imports from China. A great amount of raw material imports from China to Sri Lanka are reused to achieve our export targets” said Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen.
Minister Bathiudeen was speaking at the signing of an MoU at the Industrial Cooperation Seminar and Project Matching Forum of the National Chamber of Commerce. Taking part in the session were 39 members of a visiting Guangzhou business and industrial delegation as well as reps from various government departments including the Exports Development Bank and BOI. The MoU was signed by Vice President China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Guangzhou Committee, Wang Fuchun, representing Guangzhou and President National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka, Thilak Godamanna at the NCC Auditorium.
“The historic NCC is taking an international initiative today to strengthen the Lankan economy further as per the vision of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe,” said Minister Bathiudeen.
“The visit by a 39-member strong delegation from Guangzhou is yet another sign of continuously strengthening Sri Lanka-China bilateral cooperation over decades. Guangzhou is an important trade gateway to the 106 million strong Guangdong provincial market. Guangdong province’s reputation as the largest province by GDP in mainland China, taking 10% of the country’s GDP, is a great incentive for Sri Lankan businesses looking to establish B2B linkages. Guangdong province is also located close to Hong Kong and Macau, the global business hubs of the Far East.
“Guangzhou’s economy alone is growing at an average annual rate of 10%. In fact, China has been a long-time friend of Sri Lanka and our mutual histories stretch across the ancient Silk Route. In modern times, China-Sri Lanka bilateral trade has become an important contributor to export growth. In fact just as we want to increase our exports to China, we also continuously use imports from China. A great amount of raw material imports from China to Sri Lanka are reused to achieve our export targets. For example, a significant amount of our apparel exports have raw material inputs, directly imported from China. In 2014, total trade with China almost doubled from its figure in 2009. Also in 2014, our exports to China almost tripled from 2009. This shows that the majority of our trade with China consists of imports from Chinese suppliers,” he added.
Last year, Sri Lanka’s total trade with China stood at $ 3.7 billion. Of this $ 3.4 billion were imports to Sri Lanka. Almost 95% of 2014’s Lanka-China bilateral trade consisted of imports from China.