On the invitation by the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Sri Lanka a Ministerial Delegation led by the Sujeewa Senasinghe, State Minister of International Trade together with the representatives from Board of Investment (BOI), Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) and Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) visited Turkey to attend meetings related to trade and investment promotions.
The State Minister held very productive meetings with trade chambers in Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir in addition to attending the Izmir International Fair. Investments and Sri Lanka’s entry into the Turkish Market are stated as at the top of his agenda.
“As our bilateral trade grows I invite the prospective Turkish investors to invest in Sri Lanka. We have allocated 20,000 acres for 5 free trade zones of which the first will be opened at Kalutara District. Also investors could gain immediate access to the South Asia’s huge market through us,” Sujeewa Senasinghe said while addressing the Ankara Chamber of Industry.
Sri Lanka and Turkey took stock of all exports and investment engagements especially in textile, tea and boat building sectors. One of the major highlights of the State Minister’s visit was his effort to introduce Sri Lanka’s new products to the Turkish Market.
Turkey is the 16th export destination for Sri Lanka and accounted for 1.5% of total exports from Sri Lanka in 2016. Total export value from Sri Lanka to Turkey was US$ 154Mn in 2016 and total imports from Turkey to Sri Lanka for the same period was US$ 69Mn.
Sri Lanka’s main export products to Turkey in 2016 were tea (value added and bulk), woven fabrics, apparel, pneumatic tyres, activated carbon, coco peat and fiber pith, desiccated coconut, industrial and surgical gloves of rubber and essential oil. The main import products from Turkey were electric machinery, animal fat, leather, processed food, woven fabric, cotton during the same year.