Sri Lanka is nothing short of a wonder, endowed greatly with natural beauty and a world renowned sense of hospitality. Have you ever felt like there’s only so much you can boast about your country that you wish you could just show your friends around your home? Here’s the perfect opportunity show-off our little pearl of a nation to all our friends abroad!…..
With Cinnamon’s #BringaFriendHomeSL program you can invite your friends to Sri Lanka for great discounted packages and win amazing prizes for you and your friends. Let your friends have a taste of your home-sweet-home whilst they have the time of their lives in this paradise island.
This great offer is valid for travels to Sri Lanka within 1st August 2019 to 15th December 2019. Bookings can be made before 15th Dec 2019
Those who hold passports of listed countries and travel to Sri Lanka from 01.08.2019 to 31.01.2020 for tourist purposes are exempted paying ETA fee, in view of enhancing tourist arrivals from designated countries.
However, any foreign national who will be visiting Sri Lanka for a short period is required to apply ETA and ensure pre-approval before the journey to avoid unnecessary delays at the port of entry and adhere with enhanced pre-clearance.
The list of countries are as follows;
United States of America
“Protection of civilians during military conflicts is a priority area strictly related to international humanitarian law. We focus primarily on the groups most affected by military operations and discrimination, that is women, children, people with disabilities and religious minorities,” said Minister Jacek Czaputowicz during a meeting with the diplomatic corps on the occasion of Poland taking over the UN Security Council presidency in August.
The aim of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Jacek Czaputowicz’s meeting with the representatives of the diplomatic corps was to present the agenda for the Polish presidency of the UN Security Council next month. Minister Czaputowicz underlined Poland’s invariable commitment to the observance of international law, including international humanitarian law, protection of civilians and the security in our immediate vicinity. “As a member of the Security Council, Poland shares the responsibility for the solution of the most urgent global problems,” noted Minister Czaputowicz.
Many events are on the agenda of the Polish presidency. On 2 August, an open debate of the UN Security Council will take place on children in military conflicts, on 13 August a high level briefing will be held devoted to international humanitarian law, while on 20 August the UN SC will discuss security issues in the Middle East. An informal Council meeting on the security of members of religious minorities is scheduled for 22 August. “On the same day we will celebrate the first International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief established by a resolution of the UN General Assembly initiated by Poland in May this year,” stressed Polish foreign minister.
In his statement, the minister shared Polish experience to date as non-permanent member of UN Security Council. “After a year and a half of Polish presence in the Council, we can say that the membership required intensive diplomatic work to seek common solutions to current security crises,” underlined Minister Czaputowicz.
On the sidelines of the meeting, the Polish foreign minister also noted Poland’s candidacy to the UN Human Rights Council in 2020-2022. He also pointed out that Polish candidacy is the continuation of our country’s engagement on the multilateral forum and the confirmation of our activity in all three UN pillars of peace and security, human rights and development.
The approaching presidency of the Council is the second time since Poland became a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. The previous term of presidency was May 2018.
Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana was in Budapest for bilateral discussions with the Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister of Hungary Péter Szijjártó last Friday. The visit, undertaken at the invitation of the Hungarian Foreign Minister Szijjártó, coincided with the sixtieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Hungary this year (since February 1959).
Underlining Sri Lanka’s keenness to deepen its bilateral engagement with the Eastern and Central European countries, Minister Marapana said that advancing cooperation with the Republic of Hungary across a broad policy range was central to this effort. Already, bilateral economic and financial cooperation was robust within the framework of the Sri Lanka-Hungary Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation and the ‘Agreement of Establishment of a Framework Programme for Financial Cooperation’ signed in December 2017. The agreed areas of cooperation, following the first session of the Joint Commission in March 2019 includes agriculture and the food economy, SMEs development, water management and waste water treatment, education, science & technology, disaster management, wellness tourism and renewable energy. Tangible proposals for public-private partnerships have been identified under most of these areas. The two Ministers also reviewed the current status of four projects to be implemented under Hungary’s tied aid credit programme. These are the Bingiriya – Udubaddawa water supply project (Euros 53 million), construction of flyovers – Kohuwela and Gatambe(Euros 52 million), 148 railway level crossing protection (Euros 12 million) and electronic court management system (Euros 32 million). Rehabilitation of water treatment plants in Labugama (US $ 22.5 Mn) and Kalatuwawa (US $ 23.4 Mn), respectively, were implemented in 2017.
Minister Marapana thanked the Government (HUF 11million) and people of Hungary (HUF 9 million) for the immediate humanitarian assistance of HUF 20 million (Euros 65,000) provided for the victims of the Easter Sunday attacks. He briefed Foreign Minister Szijjártó on the Government’s committed efforts to promote national reconciliation, good governance and inclusive economic development. He also highlighted the challenges Sri Lanka continued to face in this transformational journey. In response, Foreign Minister Szijjártó, while welcoming the positive developments in Sri Lanka, including in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday attacks, said that Hungary was mindful of the difficulties Sri Lanka faced in that journey and reaffirmed his Government’s full support for the country’s development programmes and outreach to the European Union and the international community.
During the visit, Minister Marapana met with Deputy Speaker Istvan Jakab of the Hungarian National Assembly in the context of the Hungary – Sri Lanka Friendship Group established in the Assembly in 2018. He also met with Dr. Andras Veres, Bishop of the Diocese of Szombathely to personally extend appreciation for coordinating the immediate funding assistance from Hungarian Catholic well wishers for the affected in Sri Lanka. Minister Marapana led an interactive session with the CEOs of the Hungarian companies involved with the four development projects under the tied aid credit programme. A familiarization visit to the Bio Fungi agro food facility specialising in mushroom cultivation and value addition, was included in the bilateral segment of the visit. Setting up a pilot project in Sri Lanka was discussed with General Manager Arpad Mutsy.
Sri Lanka’s Charge d’ Affaires Irosha Cooray and Director General Dhammika Semasinghe of the Foreign Ministry were associated with the official visit and the discussions held.
இலங்கை மற்றும் ஹங்கேரி ஆகிய நாடுகளுக்கு இடையிலான அறுபது வருட இராஜதந்திர உறவுகளை இவ்வருடம் இருநாடுகளும் கொண்டாடும் வேளையில் இலங்கை-ஹங்கேரி இருதரப்பு பங்குடைமையின் துடிப்பான, பலன்சார்ந்த மற்றும் பரஸ்பர நன்மைகள் தொடர்பான திட்டம் பற்றிய கலந்துரையாடலில் வெளிநாட்டு அலுவல்கள் அமைச்சர் திலக் மாரபன மற்றும் அவரின் ஹங்கேரி சகாவான பீட்டர் சிஜ்ஜாடோ ஈடுபடுகின்றனர்.
கடந்த வெள்ளிக்கிழமை ஹஹ்கேரி வெளிநாட்டு அலுவல்கள் மற்றும் வர்த்தக அமைச்சர் பீட்டர் சிஜ்ஜாடோ ஆகியோருக்கு இடையில் இடம்பெற்ற இருதரப்பு கலந்தரையாடலுக்காக வெளிநாட்டு அலுவல்கள் அமைச்சர் திலக் மாரபன அவர்கள் புடாபெஸ்ட் சென்றிருந்தார். ஹஹ்கேரி வெளிநாட்டு அலுவல்கள் அமைச்சர் பீட்டர் சிஜ்ஜாடோவின் அழைப்பின் பிரகாரம் மேற்கொள்ளப்பட்ட இந்த விஜயமானது இலங்கை மற்றும் ஹங்கேரி ஆகிய நாடுகளுக்கு இடையிலான இராஜதந்திர உறவுகளை தாபித்து அறுபது வருட ஆண்டு நிறைவுடன் இசைந்திருந்தது (1959 பெப்ரவரி முதல்).
கிழக்கு மற்றும் மத்திய ஐரோப்பிய நாடுகளுடன் இலங்கையின் இருதரப்பு கலந்தரையாடல்களை ஆழமாக மேற்கொள்வதற்கான இலங்கையின் ஆர்வத்தை வலியுறுத்திய அமைச்சர் மாரபன அவர்கள், ஹங்கேரி குடியரசுடன் ஒரு பரந்த கொள்கைளின் அடிப்படையில் ஒத்துழைப்பை முன்னெடுத்தல் இந்த முயற்சியின் முக்கிய அம்சமாகும் என்பதுடன் 2017 ஆம் ஆண்டு கைச்சாத்திடப்பட்ட பொருளாதார ஒத்துழைப்பு பற்றிய இலங்கை-ஹங்கேரி இணை ஆணைக்குழு கட்டமைப்பு மற்றும் நிதிசார் ஒத்துழைப்புக்கான கட்டமைப்பு நிகழ்ச்சிநிரல் தாபிப்பதற்கான உடன்படிக்கை ஆகியவற்றுக்கு அமைவாக இருதரப்பு பொருளாதார மற்றும் நிதிசார் ஒத்துழைப்பானது ஏற்கனவே வலுவாக இருந்தாகவும் அவர் தெரிவித்தார். 2019 மார்ச் மாதத்தில் இடம்பெற்ற இணை ஆணைக்குழுவின் ஆரம்ப அமர்வினை தொடர்ந்து இணக்கப்பாடு ஏற்படுத்திக்கொண்ட ஒத்துழைப்பு விடயப்பரப்புக்களாவன கமத்தொழில் மற்றும் உணவு பொருளாதாரம், சிறிய நடுத்தர தொழில்முயற்சிகள் அபிவிருத்தி, நீர் முகாமைத்துவம் மற்றும் கழிவு நீர் சுத்திகரிப்பு, கல்வி, விஞ்ஞானம் மற்றும் தொழில்நுட்பவியல் அனர்த்த முகாமைத்துவம், சுற்றுலாத்துறை மற்றும் மீள்புதுப்பிக்கத்தக்க சக்தி ஆகியவற்றை உள்ளடக்குகின்றன. அநேகமான இந்த விடயப்பரப்புக்களின் கீழ் அரச-தனியார் பங்குடைமைகளுக்கான உறுதியான பிரேரணைகள் இனங்காணப்பட்டுள்ளன. ஹங்கேரியின் உதவிக்கடன் நிகழ்ச்சித்திட்டத்தின் கீழ் இடம்பெற்றுவரும் நான்கு கருத்திட்டங்களின் தற்போதைய நிலைமை தொடர்பாகவும் இரண்டு அமைச்சர்களும் மீளாய்வு செய்தனர். இந்த கருத்திட்டங்களாவன பிங்கிரிய-உடுபெட்தாவ நீர் விநியோக கருத்திட்டம்(53மில்லியன் யூரோ), கொவ்வல மற்றும் கெடம்ப- மேம்பாலம் நிர்மாணம் ( 52 மில்லியன் யூரோ), 148 புகையிரதப்பாதை பாதுகாப்பு கடவைகள் (12மில்லியன் யூரோ), மற்றும் இலத்திரணியல் நீதிமன்ற முகாமைத்துவ முறைமை (32 மில்லியன் யூரோ), ஆகியவை ஆகும். லபுகம நீர் சுத்திகரிப்பு புணர்நிர்மாணம்(22.5 மில்லியன் ஐ.அ டொலர்) மற்றும் கலதுவாவ நீர் சுத்திகரிப்பு புணர்நிர்மாணம் (23.4 மில்லியன் ஐ.அ டொலர்) ஆகியவை 2017ஆம் ஆண்டில் முறையே நிறைவேற்றப்பட்டன.
உயிர்த ஞாயிறு தாக்குதலால் பாதிப்புக்கு உள்ளான மக்களுக்காக வழங்கிய 20 மில்லியன் எச்.யூ.எப் (65000 யூரோ) துரித மனிதாபிமான உதவிகளுக்காக அமைச்சர் திலக் மாரபன அவர்கள் அரசாங்கத்திற்கும் (11 மில்லியன் எச்.யூ.எப்.) மற்றும் ஹங்கேரி மக்களுக்கும் (9மில்லியன் எச்.யூ.எப்) நன்றியை தெரிவித்தார். தேசிய நல்லிணக்கம், நல்லாட்சி, மற்றும் அனைத்தும் உள்ளடங்கிய பொருளாதார அபிவிருத்தி ஆகியவற்றை மேம்படுத்துவதற்கான முயற்சியில் அரசாங்கத்தின் அர்ப்பணிப்பை வெளிநாட்டு அலுவல்கள் அமைச்சர் பீட்டர் சிஜ்ஜாடோவிற்கு அவர் விளக்கிக் கூறினார். இந்த நிலைமாற்று செயற்பாட்டில் இலங்கையானது தொடர்ந்தும் முகம்கொடுத்துவரும் சாவால்களையும் அவர் சுட்டிக்காட்டினார். இதற்கு மறுமொழியளித்த ஹங்கேரி வெளிநாட்டு அலுவல்கள் அமைச்சர் பீட்டர் சிஜ்ஜாடோ அவர்கள், உயிர்த்த ஞாயிறு தாக்குதல் உட்பட அதற்கு பின்னர் இலங்கைளில் இடம்பெற்றுவரும் நேர்மறையான முன்னேற்றங்களை பாராட்டியதுடன், இலங்கையானது அதன் அர்ப்பணிப்புப் பாதையில் முகங்கொடுத்துள்ள சிரமங்களை ஹங்கேரி நன்கு அறிந்துள்ளதுடன், நாட்டின் அபிவிருத்தி நிகழ்ச்சித்திட்டங்கள் மற்றும் ஐரோப்பிய ஒன்றியம் மற்றும் சர்வதேச சமுதாயத்தை அணுகல் ஆகியவற்றிக்கு அவரது அரசாங்கத்தின் முழு ஒத்துழைப்பையும் உறுதிசெய்தார்.
இந்த விஜயத்தின் போது, அமைச்சர் மாரபன அவர்கள் ஹங்கேரி தேசிய அசெம்பிளியின் பிரதி சபாநாயகர் ஸ்ட்வன் ஜேகொப் அவர்களை 2018 ஆம் ஆண்டில் அசெம்பிளியில் தாபிக்கப்பட்ட ஹங்கேரி-ஸ்ரீலங்கா நட்புக்குழுவின் பிரகாரம் சந்தித்தார். மேலும், பாதிக்கப்பட்ட இலங்கைக்கான துரித நிதியுதவியை ஹங்கேரி கத்தோலிக்க நலன்விரும்பிகளிடம் இருந்து ஒருங்கிணைத்தமைக்காக சம்பாத்தலி மறைவாவட்ட பேராயர் கலாநிதி அன்ராஸ் அவர்களை நேரடியாக சந்தித்து நன்றியையும் அவர் தெரிவித்துக்கொண்டார். அமைச்சர் மாரபன அவர்கள் ஹங்கேரி கடன் நிகழ்ச்சித்திட்டத்தின் கீழ் இடம்பெறும் நான்கு அபிவிருத்தி கருத்திட்டத்தில் ஈடுபட்டுள்ள ஹங்கேரி கம்பனிகளின் பிரதம உத்தியோகத்தர்களுடன் கலந்துரையாடல் அமர்வொன்றையும் மேற்கொண்டார். இருதரப்பு விஜயத்தின் ஒரு பகுதியாக காளான் வளர்ப்பு மற்றும் சேர்பெறுமதியில் விசேட கவனத்தை செலுத்தும் பையோ பங்கி அக்ரோ உணவு நிலையத்திற்கும் ஒரு பரிச்சய-விஜயமொன்று உள்ளடக்கப்பட்டது. இலங்கையில் அத்தகைய முன்னோடி கருத்திட்டம் ஒன்றை இலங்கையில் தாபித்தல் தொடர்பிலும் பொது முகாமையாளர் ஆர்பெட் மஸ்டியுடன் கலந்துரையாடப்பட்டது.
இந்த உத்தியோகபூர்வ விஜயத்திலும் இடம்பெற்ற கலந்துரையாடலிலும் இலங்கையின் இடைத் தூதுவர் இரோசா குரே மற்றும் வெளிநாட்டு அமைச்சின் பணிப்பாளர் நாயகம் தம்மிக சமரசிங்க ஆகியோரும் இணைந்திருந்தனர்.
The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) of Ministry of Tourism, in close coordination with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Warsaw, conducted a mega tourism promotional event in order to entice and encourage tourists and visitors from Poland to Sri Lanka. The Promotional event consisted of comprehensive and informative presentations and workshops, proactive interaction between Sri Lankan and Polish tour/travel agents, Q&A sessions, and raffle draws and cultural performances.
The formal segment of the Promotional event commenced around 0200 PM on 31st May, and the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Poland CAHM Wijeratne opening the event mentioned that today, Sri Lanka is amongst the most peaceful countries in the world. The Ambassador highlighted that a number of travel and tourism magazines of repute such as “Lonely Planet”, “BBC Good Foods” “ I-Escape Website of UK”, “Asian Mirror”, “British Airways” and “National Geographic” among others, have listed Sri Lanka as amongst the most sought after touristic destinations in the world on par with other highly visited destinations.
Mrs Madhubani Perera, Director of Marketing of Sri Lanka made a comprehensive and a meticulously structured presentation which encompassed almost all touristic attractions including flora & fauna, adventure and eco-friendly tourism, UNESCO heritage and cultural sites, festivals and special events, national parks and luxury resorts as well as breathtaking beaches and manicured tea gardens, among others , as well as the international endorsements Sri Lanka has received from highly reputed travel and touristic magazines and organizations.
Mr. Michal Cessanis Deputy Editor –in – Chief of National Geographic Traveler and TV host in travel series “48 Hours “ in morning TV show “Good morning TVN” in TVN television – the most popular TV channel in Poland (Discovery Group) complemented the above presentation by sharing his experience in Sri Lanka.
The event was held by the Vistula River from 31st May until 2nd June and attracted around 10,000 visitors over three days creating much-needed awareness for our country. The Polish Airline “LOT” will start their direct flight to Colombo from Warsaw with effect from 3rd November 2019.
The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Warsaw celebrated Vesak Day in the Embassy premises on 18th May 2019 with the participation of Sri Lankans living in Poland and other national friends of Sri Lanka commemorating birth, enlightenment, and Pari-Nibbana of the Buddha. The Premises was decorated with Vesak lanterns and Buddhist flags.
At the invitation of the Embassy, Mr. Kelum Saummyasiri conducted the religious ceremony, including the Buddha Pooja and Dhamma Sermon.
While welcoming the participants, Ambassador CAHM Wijeratne spoke about the importance of applying Buddhist philosophy in practice and also highlighted the importance of Buddha Dharma, and Sangha in today’s world.
More than 80 participants, were present during the Programme. The occasion was availed to invoke blessings for the early recovery of the Sri Lankans and foreigners who got injured in the Easter Sunday Suicide terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka and also to invoke merits on behalf of all those who died from the same attack.
it has been recognized that Central Europe is an economically important region for Sri Lanka. The potential of Central Europe remains largely untapped. This region is much open for business and in particular attractive for long-term growth prospects. Although Sri Lanka has a strong image in the region, our commercial engagement has been relatively limited. Sri Lanka’s total bilateral trade with Central European countries is $810 million in 2018 with its total exports to Central Europe being $ 388 million and imports 422 million. But these figures do not tell the entire story as it contains Sri Lanka’s healthy trade relations with only few of the countries like Poland and Hungary.
Sri Lanka looks at the Central Europe primarily as a market for our own strategic industries. Sri Lanka exports tea, apparel, manufactured tobacco, rubber finished products, electrical and electronic products, coconut fiber, coconut kernel products, edible fish products, transport equipment and parts, coconut shell products, parts of footwear, spices, essential oils and oleoresins and processed foods to Central European Region.
Recently EU has announced its Europe- Asia connectivity strategy. It is important that Sri Lanka should now look beyond the largest EU states of Western Europe and utilize the potential of cooperation I the Central European countries which complies with the uniform market rules which apply throughout the EU.
Sri Lanka and Central European countries have much to offer each other. There are many complementarities of interests and mutual benefits and dependencies. Central European countries have stable macro- economic environment, highly educated yet affordable workforce, favorable business environment and strategic location.
In the above context, Sri Lanka Export Development Board in cooperation with the Embassy in Poland organized an out ward trade mission to Central Europe covering Hungary and Poland. This delegation was organized parallel to the First Session of the Sri Lanka Hungary joint Commission held in Budapest.
Business Forum and B2B Meetings in Warsaw, Poland
Immediately after the Hungary program, the delegation proceeded to Poland. Poland is the largest economy in Central and Eastern Europe. Poland’s population exceed 38 million.
The Sri Lanka Embassy in Poland and the Polish Chamber of Commerce organized the Business Forums and B2B Meeting Programme on 25 and 26 April in Warsaw, Poland. More than 40 Polish companies attended the Business Forum and more than 40 B2B meetings were conducted on 25 and 26 April 2019.
During this mission the Sri Lankan participants discussed with their counterparts on different options of partnerships. It was identified that the Central European market is more affordable and reachable market for Sri Lanka and the delegation was afforded with the opportunity to develop business sales leads, joint ventures, and distributorships in both countries.
Siddhalepa Exports Ltd, Director Vidyani Hettigoda stated that they received positive interests towards Ayurvedic products, hotels and franchise sectors from the counterparts they met in Poland and could establish a number of business contacts in Poland. Though Sri Lanka tourism industry braces for tough time, Polish companies specifically inquired for facilitation services for one to two weeks I Ayurvedic Health Resorts in Sri Lanka.
Further, Hettigoda mentioned “I saw a lot of possibilities in Poland to promote Ayurvedic products and would like to explore those . I developed many contacts, and is now exchanging emails, so the relationship have begun.” It is reported that in the next few months, EDB anticipates that many of these leads will develop into formal agreements, and the EDB will continue discussions with the private sector mission participants to track their individual results.
Follow up on World Food Poland
During this visit, it was identified that participation of Sri Lankan companies in the Sector of food and beverages at the World Food Poland would be beneficial to make further connections with the buyers in the Central Europe. It provides a platform to connect and conduct business with food and beverages industry operating in Eastern Europe. The next World Food will take place in March 2020 in Warsaw. Sri Lanka Export Development Board and Sri Lanka Embassy in Warsaw do encourage more participation from Sri Lanka at the forthcoming event.
Inaugural Flight of LOT Polish Airline
During the business Forum held at the Polish Chamber of Commerce, the representative from the LOT Polish Airline revealed that its new seasonal service between Warsaw and Colombo is among the shortest routes from Europe and adding a connection between Europe and Sri Lanka from the next winter season, which will guarantee the shortest travel to the destination from many European countries. This may lead to wider scope for greater economic cooperation with Sri Lanka and Poland for more trade as well as tourism. Tourist arrivals from Poland have risen by 7.5% to 9,836 in first nine months of this year.
Head of the Sri Lankan Trade Delegation Meets with Mr. Lukasz Porazynski, Director for International Trade, Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology of Poland.
Accompanied by H.E. CAHM Wijeratne, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Poland, and Ms. Indira Malwatte, Mr. Sisira T. Kodikara, the Secretary of Ministry of Strategic Development & International Trade who lead the Sri Lankan Trade Delegation to Poland met with Mr. Lukasz Porazynski, Director in charge for the International Trade in the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology of Poland during his visit on 25th April 2019.
During the meeting, the Secretary stated that the Economic Diplomacy has become one of the most vital aspects of a Sri Lankan Foreign Policy. He said that in this context, in addition to its multilateral economic responsibilities, his Ministry coordinates bilateral trade and investment promotion activities with other countries through Sri Lanka Missions abroad.
He also inquired from the director on the mechanism of Polish government to monitor the implementation of Trade Agreements. In response to the quarry, the Director stated that the Polish Government should adhere to the guidelines set out by the EU. However, he said that bilateral investment promotion agreements can be concluded with individual countries. He also encouraged the Government of Sri Lanka to re start the negotiation on the investment promotion and protection agreement.
Mrs. Indira Malwatte, Chairperson of Export Development Board outlined the untapped potentials of Sri Lanka and Poland Trade relations. She also requested the assistance of Department of International trade to implement the Economic Diplomacy Programme. She also said that the following sectors have been identified as most suitable for Poland for cooperation i.e. Apparel Sector, Gem and Jeweler Sector, Rubber Products Sector, & Sri Lanka Promotion under EU GSP Plus facility.
The Secretary also requested the assistance of the Department of International trade to establish collaborative arrangement with the Agency for Research and Development in Poland. He also said that Sri Lanka is in the process of establishing such an Agency to encourage Public and private partnership on carrying out tasks within the State policies on Science, innovation as well as Science and Technology.
The director said that his Ministry is very much in supportive of the initiatives of the Government of Sri Lanka in strengthening trade relations between both Countries. With regard to the Agency on Development and Research, He said that the Agency has supported more than 10,000 project proposals and they would like to support Sri Lanka in its endeavor to establish such an Agency in Sri Lanka.
The Secretary of Strategic Development and International Trade meet with Hon. Mercin Przydacz, Deputy Minister for Economic Diplomacy and Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Accompanied by H.E.CAHM Wijeratne, Chairperson of Export Development Board – Mrs. Indira Mallwatte and Minister Counsellor Dr. Udaya Kumara , Mr. Sisira .T. Kodikara Secreatry of Startegic Development and International Trade called on Hon. Mercin Przydacz, Deputy Minister for Economic Diplomacy and Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland during his to Warsaw leading a Trade Delegation on 25th April 2019.
The Hon Deputy Minister welcoming the delegation conveyed the condolences of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the bereaved families on Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka. He also expressed his government’s solidarity with the Government of Sri Lanka in defeating terrorism.
The Secretary stating the purpose of the visit stressed the importance of having strong trade relations with Central and Eastern European countries. He said that Sri Lanka and Poland have much to offer to each other. There are many complementarities of interests and mutual benefits and dependencies. Central European countries have stable macro- economic environment, highly educated yet affordable workforce, favourable business environment and strategic location.
The Secretary also inquired the status of the projects proposals made by Sri Lanka under the Polish Development Assistance Programme.
In response Hon Deputy Minister while agreeing with the Secretary stated that there is a hugh potential in developing trade relations between both countries. His government stand ready to develop a strategy in strengthening these relations further.
With regard to the project proposals under the Polish Development Assistance Programme, he said that the Polish Government has made counter proposals to the Government of Sri Lanka for which a response is awaited.
Apostolic Nuncio His Excellency AbP Salvatore Pennacchio, Dean of the Diplomatic corps and Ambassadors welcomed the newly appointed Ambassadors to Poland including Ambassador of Sri Lanka H E CAHM Wijeratne.
Sri Lanka’s share in the global export market and the contribution of exports to the national GDP has been in decline whereas imports to the country is in the increase. Further exports are dependent on imported inputs therefore, it is noted that the gap between export and import has been continuously increasing.
In addition, the export markets for Sri Lankan export products are highly concentrated. Sri Lanka’s exports were mostly dependent on the EU and North-American markets and recorded market share for USA and EU was aggregated to 60 % in 2018.
The European Union, as a Region, is the number one market for Sri Lanka which represents 30% of total exports. The major export partner countries in the EU Region are UK, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, France, and Italy.
It is important to diversify Sri Lanka’s export product basket from “traditional” to “nontraditional” exports. The National Export Strategy (NES) being implemented from 2018 is focusing on this matter and there are 6 selected product sectors to develop during the next 5 years aiming at diversifying the export portfolio to intensify and accelerate the economic growth.
In the above context it is important for Sri Lanka to look into new markets which will provide opportunities immediately as well as in the long run.
Why Central Europe
Central Europe is an economically important region for Sri Lanka. The potential of Central Europe remains largely untapped. This Region is much open for business and in particular attractive for long-term growth prospects. Although Sri Lanka has a strong image in the region, our commercial engagement has been relatively limited. Sri Lanka’s total bilateral trade with Central European countries is $ 810 million in 2018 with its total exports to Central Europe being $ 388 million and imports 422 million. But these figures do not tell the entire story as it contains Sri Lanka’s healthy trade relations with only few of the countries like Poland and Hungary.
Sri Lanka looks at the Central Europe primarily as a market for our own strategic industries. Sri Lanka exports Tea, Apparel, Manufactured Tobacco, Rubber Finished Products, Electrical & Electronic Products, Coconut Fiber, Coconut Kernel Products, Edible Fish Products, Transport Equipment’s & Parts, Coconut Shell Products, Parts of Footwear, Spices, Essential Oils & Oleoresins and Processed Foods to Central European Region.
Recently EU has announced its Europe-Asia connectivity strategy. It is important that Sri Lanka should now look beyond the largest EU states of Western Europe and utilize the potential of cooperation in the Central European Countries which complies with the uniform market rules which apply throughout the EU.
Sri Lanka and Central European countries have much to offer to each other. There are many complementarities of interests and mutual benefits and dependencies. Central European countries have stable macro-economic environment, highly educated yet affordable workforce, favorable business environment and strategic location.
In the above context, Sri Lanka Export Development Board organized an outward trade mission to Central Europe covering Hungary and Poland. This delegation was organized parallel to the First Session of the Sri Lanka Hungary Joint Commission held in Budapest, Hungary
Business Forum and B2B Meetings parallel to Joint Commission (JC) in Budapest, Hungary
A total of 07 private companies representing sectors of Food & Beverage, Wellness Tourism, Coconut Products, Teaand Water Management participated in this outward mission.
GEED Technologies, Bio Foods (Pvt)Ltd, Vintage Teas Ceylon (Pvt) Ltd, Siddalepa Exports (Pvt) Ltd, Serendipol (Pvt) Ltd, Jetwing (Pvt) Ltd and Sen Wellness Sanctuary participated at the Business Forum followed by the B2B meetings held from 23rd -26th April 2019 in Hungary and Poland. They had the added advantage of joining the official delegation to the Joint Commission which initially provided the opportunity to organize this mission and have credibility towards the mission.
Business Forum followed by the B2B meetings held on 23rd & 24th April 2019 in Hungary was organized by the Hungarian Export Promotion Agency (HEPA) and the Hungarian Embassy in New Delhi. The event was attended by the Co-Chairs of the Joint Commission; representing Sri Lanka, Secretary of the Ministry of Development Strategy & International Trade and H.E. István Joó, Deputy State Secretary for Export Development of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary H. This event was coordinated by Mr. Szolt Padazky, the Commercial secretary of Hungary Embassy in New Delhi.
There were more than 45 Hungarian companies attended for the Forum and more than 30 B2B meetings were conducted. High interest were shown on Food Products, Wellness Tourism and Coconut Products.
Business Forum & B2B Meetings in Warsaw, Poland
Immediately after the Hungary programme, the delegation proceeded to Poland. Poland is the largest economy in Central Europe and Eastern Europe. Poland’s population exceeds 38 million.
The Sri Lanka Embassy in Poland and the Polish Chamber of Commerce organized the Business Forums and B2B Meeting programme on 25th & 26th April 2019 in Warsaw, Poland. More than 40 Polish companies attended the Business Forum and more than 40 B2B meetings were conducted on 25th & 26th April 2019 in Warsaw.
During this Outward Mission to Hungary & Poland, our participants discussed with their counterparts on different options of partnerships. It was identified that the Central European market is more affordable and a reachable market for Sri Lanka. During this Mission, the Sri Lankan trade delegation was afforded with the opportunity to develop business sales leads, joint ventures, and distributorships in both countries.
Mrs. Vidyani Hettigoda, Director, Siddhalepa Exports (Pvt) Ltd stated that they received positive interests towards Ayurvedic products, hotels and franchise sectors from the counterparts they met in Hungary and Poland and could establish a number of business contacts in both countries. Though Sri Lanka tourism industry braces for tough times, Polish companies specifically inquired for facilitation services for 1-2 weeks in Ayurvedic Health Resorts in Sri Lanka.
Further Mrs. Hettigoda mentioned that “I saw a lot of possibilities in Poland to promote Ayurvedic products and would like to explore those and saw a lot of potential in Hungary too. I developed many contacts, and is now exchanging emails, so the relationships have begun”.
In the next few months, EDB anticipates that many of these leads will develop into formal agreements, and the EDB will continue discussions with the private sector mission participants to track their individual results.
Follow up on World Food Poland
During this visit, it was identified that participation of Sri Lankan companies in the sector of food & beverages at the World Food Poland would be beneficial to make further connections with the buyers in the Central Europe. It provides a platform to connect and conduct business with food and beverages industry buyers operating in Eastern Europe. The next World Food Poland will take place in March 2020 in Warsaw. Sri Lanka Export Development Board and Sri Lanka Embassy in Warsaw will encourage more participation from Sri Lanka at the forthcoming event.
Inaugural Flight of LOT Polish Airlines
During the Business Forum held at the Polish Chamber of commerce, the representative from the LOT Polish Airlinesrevealed that its’ new seasonal service between Warsaw and Colombo is among the shortest routes from Europe and adding a connection between Europe and Sri Lanka from the next winter season, which will “guarantee the shortest travel” to the destination from many European countries. This may lead to wider scope for greater economic cooperation with Sri Lanka and Poland for more trade as well as tourism. Tourist arrivals from Poland have risen by 7.5% to 9,836 in the first nine months of this year.
His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has announced that the Arch Diocese of Colombo has set up a Special Fund, to be managed by Caritas, which can be used by benefactors to send donations for the benefit of the affected people as well as the reconstruction of the affected churches. The video of the Cardinal’s announcement is available at http://www.archdioceseofcolombo.com/
Details of the Fund are given below. Missions may share this information with any Sri Lankan Association/groups making inquiries.
Account name :Archbishop of Colombo Bank :Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC, Borella branch Account No :1190038741 Swift Code :CCEYLKLX