Philippine Business Leaders to Attend Sri Lanka Business Forum
: The atmosphere of peace and stability which prevails in Sri Lanka today, provides an opportunity for significant expansion of the trade and investment relationship between Sri Lanka and the Philippines, and it is in the interest of both countries to exploit this opportunity to the full, External Affairs Minister Professor G.L.Peiris said in Manila on 1st of August 2013.
He was addressing a special meeting of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, presided over by Mr. Miguel B. Varela, with the participation of Mr. Oscar de Venecia, Co Chairman of the Chamber’s International and Trade Affairs Committee, and a large number of members of the Chamber.
Senior business personalities who participated in the discussion, accepted with enthusiasm the invitation by the Minister to attend the Business Forum, on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo in November this year. The Chamber appreciated the decision by the government of Sri Lanka to invite participation at the Business Forum by entrepreneurs from countries which do not have membership o f the Commonwealth.
The Minister of External Affairs identified the specific areas appropriate for an enhanced business relationship between the two countries.
He said that structured and systematic training of persons planning to proceed abroad for employment, was an area in which the Philippines had developed considerable expertise. Sri Lanka, he continued, would find it useful to study this experience with a view to adapting some aspects of it.
Since the Philippines was well known also for its expertise in high quality construction within short periods, their companies could be of considerable assistance to Sri Lanka, given the priority which our country accords to the construction of buildings and infrastructure in many parts of the country, the Minister added.
In the field of agriculture, there was extended discussion about further benefit which Sri Lanka could derive from the work being carried out by the International Rice Research Institute of the Philippines, probably the pioneer institution of its kind in the world. It was noted that this institution had conducted research with regard to no less than 2017 strains of paddy under cultivation in Sri Lanka.
Leading entrepreneurs from the Philippines informed Prof. Peiris about the extensive demand in their country for several products from Sri Lanka, including apparel products, cosmetics and confectionery. They also commented that the tax structure in the Philippines is especially conducive to the export of rubber products from Sri Lanka.
Minister Peiris agreed with the entrepreneurs to work together to increase the volumes of bilateral trade in these areas. The upcoming Business Forum in Colombo would afford an ideal opportunity for this, he said.
- Asian Tribune -