Sri Lanka hopes to expand business ties with Africa

The First Sri Lanka-Africa Business Forum was held on Friday in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The meeting was attended by 17 visiting Heads of Mission from the African region and CEOs and business leaders from Sri Lanka.

Discussions focused on how Sri Lankan businesses could leverage their comparative advantage to enter the African regional markets.

The forum was a follow-up event to the meeting chaired by President Ranil Wickremesinghe with African Heads of Mission at the Presidential Secretariat in the morning.

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister  M. U. M. Ali Sabry opened the forum emphasizing the importance Sri Lanka places in using economic diplomacy as a tool to harness fully Sri Lanka’s economic engagement with Africa. 

He stated that there is much untapped potential to expand Sri Lanka’s market share in the African region in key value-added exports and new targeted priority sectors in renewable energy, ICT & Digital Technology, pharmaceuticals, the construction industry, and supply of Sri Lankan skilled labour for gainful employment.

Hela Apparel making a presentation showcased their success in making inroads into the African continent where they have a presence in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Egypt.

The SPAR Group, a leading South African business, spoke of their success in expanding their presence in Sri Lanka through their chain of supermarkets spurred by the ease of doing business in Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lanka-Africa Business Forum brought forth productive talks on moving forward the agenda for a deepened commercial partnership through the engagement of the Sri Lankan and African overseas communities in the respective countries.

The representatives of African countries attending the forum strongly welcomed the outreach initiative.

The Sri Lanka-Africa Business Forum is one of the first engagements the foreign ministry has undertaken to coincide with the 75th Independence Day celebrations in keeping with the Sri Lankan Government’s Look Africa Policy.