Sri Lanka can act as a logistic hub to re-export Russian fuel, fertilizers, wheat as well as much other merchandise to neighboring countries, said Attaché of the Russian Embassy in Colombo Alexey Tseleshchev.
“Sri Lanka can become a part of this process of restructuring Russian exports and also obtain these much needed products like fuel and fertilizer and the island may serve as a maritime hub for Russian export commodities.”
He disclosed that today Russia is witnessing a record harvest of wheat.
“Connecting Sri Lanka to the financial remittance system of the Bank of Russia and introducing the MIR payment system on the island would allow direct financial communication and currency exchange, cut transactional losses, and makes the process of bank transfers secure and stable. The implementation of these mechanisms in Sri Lanka would have a boosting impact on the tourism industry. There are many opportunities for the Sri Lankan business in Russia as well. Russia remains one of the top export markets for the Sri Lankan tea industry. There are prospects in IT services and coconut based products can be used in the Russian agricultural sector.”
This was opined at the Russian Embassy of Sri Lanka, Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) Export Development Board, National Gem and Jewellery Authority and Sri Lankan Embassy in Russia jointly organized business forum in Colombo attended by a Russian Business Delegation and attracting more than 250 exporters. The Russian delegation is expected to introduce e-commerce solutions to reach the Russian market places and he expressed his confidence that Sri Lankan exporters will get the best out of these alternative ways of trade.
Rangith Wimalasooriya, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Industry said the objective of the Ministry is to increase trade with value added products, develop the IT sector and high technologies which are important to attract investments to numerous projects of Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan Ambassador to Russia Prof Janitha Liyanage said her aim is to promote local SME sector products to Russia which currently contributes a negligible share (5%) to National export volume. Secretary General/CEO of FCCISL Further, Ajith D Perera stressed that despite long-standing political and economic relations trade volumes have not substantially grown up.
“This clearly shows that there has been a need to develop a strategic business plan at the government level between two countries and requested to resume the third session of the inter-governmental commission at an early date.”
He noted that the objective of this forum was also to break the negative sentiments promoted by social media all around them.