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    First Finnish business and investment delegation to arrive in Sri Lanka in December

    September 10, 2014

    The first ever high level trade & business delegation to Sri Lanka from the World’s ICT leader is now mulled for early December. “I have been able to encourage my government to renew trade cooperation with Sri Lanka.

    I have been highly encouraged by the rapid development seen in Sri Lanka. The first ever Finnish business and investment delegation is now being scheduled for the first week of December 2014” announced Rauli Suikkanen, Finland’s Roving Ambassador for Bhutan, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, recently in Colombo.

    Ambassador Suikkanen was addressing Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka recently when he paid a courtesy call on Minister Bathiudeen. Bandula Egodage, Chairman & CEO-EDB, too was present..

    “I have been able to encourage my government to renew trade cooperation with Sri Lanka. I have been highly encouraged by the rapid development seen in Sri Lanka. I am very happy two Finnish firms already successfully operating here in water and power sectors” said Ambassador Suikkanen, and added: “Finland is world reputed for shipbuilding, telecom such as Nokia which used to be Finnish, ICT and even clean technologies. I see a lot of potential in Sri Lanka and Finnish businesspersons want to come here by themselves and find out the latest developments status in Sri Lanka. I congratulate Sri Lanka on its strong growth. I am very proud to be the Finnish Ambassador to Sri Lanka specially since we are celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations this year. We have lots of hi tech which could support Sri Lanka’s education development as well. Finland’s IT leadership in the world is well known. We have not finalised the delegation yet but the Finnish Government’s promotion agency FINPRO is organising the business sectors reps to Sri Lanka. Their reps in New Delhi is now working on this. The Finnish development finance firm FinnFund is also involved, and more importantly ‘Finnpartnership’, whose mission is to increase commercial cooperation and promote business partnerships between companies in Finland and in developing countries, also be partnering with business feasibility studies and in linking matching firms at both sides. The first ever Finnish business and investment delegation is now being scheduled for the first week of December 2014.”

    The Nordic powerhouse Finland is the lead producer and user of information and communication technology (ICT) in the world and ranks No 1 in the Legatum Prosperity Index. It is also the birthplace of such global brands as Nokia, and Nokia Siemens Networks, Neste Oil, Finnair, F-Secure (IT sector), and Viking Line (shipping).

    Minister Bathiudeen, responding to Ambassador Suikkanen, said: “Thanks to the committed leadership of HE the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, we have seen rapid growth and this year expect GDP growth this year at 7.8%. This is the time to invest in Sri Lanka for keen Finnish investors. We are very pleased to welcome a leading business delegation from Finland and ready to give our fullest support in this regard. The EDB under my Ministry can facilitate B2B sessions. I also observe that the currently bilateral trade volume to be low amount around only $ 28 Mn in 2013 which shows both countries are promising virgin markets to each other. Therefore for both countries, this is breaking of new ground!”

    According to the Department of Commerce, Sri Lanka’s trade with Finland has been fluctuating for the last few years and in 2013, and reported $28 Mn in 2013, with exports taking $16.05 Mn. Tea is the main item exported to Finland (55% in 2013) followed by apparel. As for imports, the leading import from Finland, mobile cellular phones saw their peak in 2010 and from 2011 is overtaken by marine propulsion engines and electric generating set imports followed by paper and cinema cameras. Sri Lanka is a GSP Beneficiary Country under EU GSP Scheme, which gives an added advantage for Sri Lankan exports to Finland.

    Both Minister Bathiudeen and Ambassador Suikkanen also emphasised on the progress of other forms of bilateral cooperation between both countries during the discussion.

    Last modified on Wednesday, 10 September 2014 11:18

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