Chinese Delegation Strengthen Business ties with FCCISL

A ten member strong Chinese Delegation from the China Council for promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) headed by its Vice Chairman. Mr. Dong Songgen visited the Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka on 14th December 2009.

Mr. Kosala Wickramanayake –President of FCCISL welcome the delegation and expressed his ideas on how China could contribute to formulate a meaningful mechanism to strength the economic relationship. Mr. Wickramanayake said, China could reap the benefit of enjoying duty free access to the huge market of India and Pakistan, using the privileges extended in Indo –Sri Lanka and Indo – Pakistan Free Trade Agreements by investing in Sri Lanka. Therefore, Chinese investments in Sri Lanka could enjoy this privilege of duty free access to the South Asian Market.

Mr. Wickramanayake also emphasized the Tourism Industry as a lucrative business segment that China could embarked in Sri Lanka. With the Buddhist background common to both countries, religious and cultural tours could envisage a high degree of success.

Talking in a lighter vein, Mr. Wickramanayake suggested as a mark of goodwill, China could donate a Chinese Panda to Sri Lanka as it would be a wonderful gift that Sri Lankans would love to see. This could be coincide with the forthcoming celebrations of 60th Anniversary of famous RR Pact between two countries.

Mr. Dong Songgen – Vice Chairman of CCIPT, announcing the objective of the mission said, the state leaders have laid solid foundation for economic relation but it is significant for the business community to execute realistic economic activities between the two countries.

CCIPT has already signed a MOU with FCCISL many years back. It is also nice to see that FCCISL has successfully participated for the last 3 conservative years at the South Asia Community Fair in China and also the Kunming Fair both organized by the involvement of CCPIT.

CCPIT delegation wants to review the progress and strengthen the friendship with FCCISL . The Trade balance between Sri Lanka and China stands at US$ 1.7 Million. This is not an ideal figure but can be improved.

In terms of Chinese investment in Sri Lanka, it’s rather low. He said we must have a greater practical approach and find specific projects for enterprises.

Regarding the trade balance, the Chinese Government focuses this issue and intends to improve more imports from Sri Lanka in future.

You need to introduce more quality products from Sri Lanka. China has now transform to market economy and hence can import more from Sri Lanka. Certainly, we like to work with Chambers who represents the Private Sector business community and in the case of Sri Lanka, we prefer to work with Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka with whom we have a long standing relationship with proven success. It is important both of us to arrange more trade delegation visits. A governmental relationship is good for policy decisions but private sector involvement is more important for commercial improvement. CCPIT would like to see that FCCISL bring more and more Trade delegations to China. CCPIT will extend fullest support in all aspects in this regard.

Further Mr. Dong Songgen – Vice President of CCPIT said they were very interested to learn about Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreements with India and Pakistan and how China could enjoy duty free access in the market by investing in Sri Lanka.They would consider this matter and also thankful to the FCCISL for inviting to participate at the 4th coming Trade Fairs in Colombo and Jaffna, organized by FCCISL.

Mr. Kosala Wickramanayake said, Sri Lanka is experiencing over-production of Rice and therefore looking for varied value added products in rice and thankful if China could come in with new technologies in this regard. He also invited CCPIT involvement in setting up investments on electronic processing as skilled labour is available in Sri Lanka.

Mr. Hildon Hamangoda, the Head of International Affairs of FCCISL mentioned that in the previous 3 years Sri Lankan participation at Kunming Fair was highly successful and many Sri Lankan businessmen tied up with Chinese counterpart. Since the MOU signed in this regard expires in this year, Mr. Hamangoda requested to renew it for further period of 3 years for which the CCPIT consented.