S.Korea to open its markets to Lanka, Minister Rishad to lead biz delegation to Expo 2012 Yoesu
The current bilateral trade levels between Sri Lanka and South Korea are set to grow strongly as the doors to the huge South Korean markets are likely to be opened for Sri Lanka soon. And Sri Lanka will be taking part at the South Korea’s international ‘EXPO 2012 Yoesu’ commencing from 12 May.
“An early conclusion of the fourth round of Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) is important as that will open up new opportunities for Sri Lankan products in the Korean market as well as in other member states” revealed Sihyung Lee, Deputy Minister for Trade of Republic of Korea on 22 April.
Minister Sihyung Lee was apprising Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka during a Sri Lanka-South Korea bilateral session held on the sidelines of the 13th Ministerial Meeting of UNCTAD General Assembly Session at the Qatari National Convention Center, Doha.
Apprising Minister Sihyung Lee, Ministern Rishad Bithiudeen stated: “Sri Lanka is keen in studying the different avenues available for promotion of Sri Lankan products in the Korean market with special emphasis on apparel and tea, either in the context of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) or some other mechanism. As a preliminary step in this process, I would like to explore the possibility of leading a business delegation on the occasion of Sri Lanka’s participation in the EXPO 2012 Yoesu, Korea, scheduled to be held in Yeosu over a period of three months, commencing from 12th May – 12th August, 2012 this year.”
Informing Minister Rishad Bithiudeen, South Koren Minister said: “My ministry would be happy extend necessary assistance to facilitate business to business meetings during the proposed business delegation. An early conclusion of the fourth round of Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) is important as that will open up new opportunities for Sri Lankan products in the Korean market as well as in other member states.”
Sri Lanka and South Korea are members of the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) formerly known as Bangkok Agreement / which was signed in 1975 with the initiative of the ESCAP for promoting intra-regional trade through exchange of mutually agreed tariff concessions by member countries. Sri Lankan apparel products have been making inroads to the South Korean market under the APTA. However, the value of apparel exports has remained rather modest, averaging around US$ 6.5 Mn.
According to the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka, the overall value of Sri Lanka – South Korea trade currently stands at US $ 432 Mn. While Sri Lanka’s exports to South Korea were registered at US $ 45 Mn in year 2011, Sri Lanka’s imports from South Korea amounted to US $ 387 Mn.
In the same period. Main export items from Sri Lanka to South Korea include coconut fibre, rubber products, articles of apparel clothing & accessories, used pneumatic tyres of rubber, Furniturewhile Sri Lanka primarily imports were iron and steel, boilers & machinery parts, knitted or crocheted fabrics, light-vessels, fire-floats, dredgers, man -made filaments, cotton woven fabrics, special purpose motor vehicles, electrical machinery and equipment and parts, plastics and articles, etc. To promote bilateral trade further, Sri Lanka Export Development Board and the Korean Importers Association (KOIMA) signed an MOU on the side-lines of the Sri Lanka Expo 2012 in March this year.
- Asian Tribune –