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Portugal sees strong apparel synergies with Sri Lanka
Dec '11
Portugal, which is re-emerging due to its economic reforms, will send high level business and industry delegations to Sri Lanka Expo 2012 and is keen for apparel synergies with Sri Lanka. Portugal is also keen on the energy, water and edible oil processing sectors here, announced Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka.

Minister Bathiudeen announced this in the aftermath of his in-depth discussions on 6 December at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce with His Excellency Mr. Jorge Roza de Oliveira, the new Ambassador Designate of Portugal accredited to Sri Lanka with residence in New Delhi. H.E. Roza de Oliveira previously presented his credentials to H.E. the President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 5 December in Colombo.

The international press widely reported that on 20 December, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as having approved a disbursement of $ 3.8 billion to Portugal after completing its second review of the country.

According to the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka, the total trade turnover which stood at US$ 7.1 Mn in 2009 has drastically increased to US $ 66.5 Mn in 2010 due to import of aircrafts valued at US $ 60.69 Mn from Portugal.

Sri Lanka's usual main imports from Portugal are articles of stone, plaster, cement, asbestos, mica or similar materials, sound recording machinery, woven fabric, self-propelled bulldozers and data processing machine and units.

Apparel, textile and clothing have been the major Sri Lankan export items to Portugal in 2010 contributing 35% of total exports. Other major exports items are coconuts, cashew nuts (fresh or dried), solid tyres, cotton wastes, coir fibre, bicycles and porcelain tableware, kitchenware, household articles and toilet articles.

Minister Bathiudeen also invited strong business and investment delegations from Portugal for the Sri Lanka Expo 2012. “This is a mega export exhibition to be held in Sri Lanka after 15 years' lapse thanks to the vision of H.E. President Mahinda Rajapaksa” Minister Bathiudeen said.

Minister Bathiudeen's invitation was duly accepted by H.E. Roza de Oliveira who voiced: “We will certainly take part in the Sri Lanka Expo 2012 and very much looking forward to it.

I believe that there's strong synergy potential between apparel sectors of Portugal and Sri Lanka which we want to explore further during the forthcoming Expo 2012 event. A collaborative approach by both countries can help in the competitive international markets.”

H.E. Roza de Oliveira added: “At present times, economic diplomacy is very important for Portugal and it's my priority as well. Portugal is undergoing economic reforms at the moment and our Companies are now looking at the alluring South Asian region.

Sri Lanka is very attractive to our private sector due its growing GDP rates and the political stability. Portugal and its private sector firms are keen on Sri Lanka's alternative energy, water management and vines and edible oil processing sectors as potential investment avenues.”

Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka

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