A twelve-member business delegation, comprising of more than ten Sri Lankan companies in the fields of trade, investment and tourism and led by the State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vasantha Senanayake visited Warsaw, Poland from 15th to 17th February 2018.
The visit was organized and coordinated by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Warsaw in association with the Sri Lanka Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Export Development Board. This delegation was the single largest Sri Lankan business delegation to ever have visited Poland, paving the way for Poland and Sri Lanka to enhance commercial ties.
On February 15th, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland organized a familiarization tour (FAM) for the Sri Lankan business delegation. The group visited the Ptak Warsaw Expo and the Mazovia Voivodeship office. The Warsaw Expo is the largest International Exhibition and Conference Center in Poland and Central and Eastern Europe. It is dedicated to organizing fairs, congresses, conferences and commercial events. The delegation also attended a business seminar and presentation, organized by the Mazovia Voivodeship office for Investment and Export, where they learned about business opportunities and methods of conducting business in Poland.
On February 16th, the Sri Lankan delegation participated in the Business Forum, organized by the Polish Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Warsaw.
Guests of the event included the Sri Lankan State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vasantha Senanayake, representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Investment and Economy Development, Enterprise and Technology, State Secretary, Ms. Grace Asirwatham, Sri Lankan Ambassador in Warsaw, Tissa Wijeratne, Vice President of the Polish Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Marek Kłoczko, and business communities of the two countries, including representatives from more than 40 Polish companies.
The forum was moderated by Ambassador Jerzy Drozdz, Director of the Foreign Relations Department of the Polish Chamber of Commerce. On this day, the State Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke of the liberalization of the Sri Lankan economy and open policies created by the Sri Lankan government for foreign investors. He also invited businesses to increase the potential for economic and trade relations between Poland and Sri Lanka.
Through his speech, Mr. Marek Kioczko, Vice President of the Polish Chamber of Commerce, introduced Sri Lanka as “a country that gives us a feeling of closeness, to Poland and Polish economic development strategies will create a powerful combination for new growth opportunities for both countries.”
The speeches of the other participants were dedicated to the Sri Lanka–Polish cooperation in the spheres of trade, construction, infrastructure, agriculture, green energy and machine-building and additionally to improve existing bilateral trade between the two countries and tap into the vast potential and opportunities that exist in many other fields including tourism. After the panels, the Sri Lankan business delegation had the opportunity to hold B2B meetings.
On February 16th, the Embassy of Sri Lanka organized a Sri Lanka-Poland business promotional event at the Embassy premises named “Discovering business opportunities in Sri Lanka”, with the support of the Polish-Asia Chamber of Commerce, the Polish–India Chamber of Commerce and the Polish business community. More than 80 representatives from Sri Lankan and Polish business organizations attended the event.
The State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign affairs, Ms. Asirwatham, gave a detailed presentation on the opportunities for trade, investment, and tourism in Sri Lanka. The participants were additionally briefed on the latest economic developments in Sri Lanka. Ambassador Wijeratne spoke about the rapidly growing cooperation between Sri Lanka and Poland in the areas of trade, agriculture, and food industry and about the opportunities for trade and investment in both countries.
He also reported on the growth of trade between Poland and Sri Lanka, including an increase in total trade (USD 130 million) by 39% in 2016, an increase in Polish exports to Sri Lanka by 32% and an increase in Sri Lankan exports to Poland by 10% compared to the previous year.
Mr. Anura Siriwardena, Director General of the Sri Lanka Tea Board, presented on the “Sri Lanka Tea Industry – A success story”. The Presidents of the Polish–Asia Chamber of Commerce and Polish–India Chamber of Commerce and other business leaders focused on the importance of seeking new opportunities and identifying areas of growth to enhance the Poland-Sri Lanka business cooperation.
The Polish–Sri Lanka Business Association was also launched by a group of Polish and Sri Lankan businessman and professionals in order to promote business interest between the two countries. At the conclusion of the event, the Sri Lankan business delegation had the opportunity to hold B2B meetings with many Polish companies.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
February 20, 2018