The New Zealand business delegation representing 13 innovative companies arrived in Colombo on 2nd April for a 3-day visit to continue forging business and trade links with Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is an increasingly important partner for New Zealand in South Asia, evidenced by the recent visits from New Zealand businesses and the New Zealand High Commission scheduled to open in Colombo next year.
“With one of the highest per capita incomes in South Asia and a growing urban population, Sri Lanka’s demand for quality manufactured goods and access to healthcare and technology services is rising. New Zealand companies are well positioned to meet this demand due to our strong trade links throughout South Asia and our focus on delivering premium but cost-effective solutions,” said Ralph Hays, who leads New Zealand Trade & Enterprise’s (NZTE) activity in Sri Lanka and South India.
The companies in the delegation were ADInstruments, DGL International Powder Coatings, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, FRAMEDCAD Holdings, Medtech, New Zealand International Commercial Pilot Academy, Powershield, Redesign, Reese Group, Sealegs, Staah Limited, Tait Communications and Vista / Book My Show.
“I’m pleased to be leading such an innovative and diverse group of business leaders and it’s encouraging to see more New Zealand companies exploring the opportunities Sri Lanka has to offer. We see potential to combine the skills and resources of both countries to take value-added goods and services to the world,” said Mr Hays.
The programme included a traditional cultural welcome from Kandyan and Māori culture groups; an infrastructure seminar involving FRAMECAD, Redesign and DGL International Powder Coatings, which will also explore emerging trends in the construction sector, as well as business meetings and site visits.
New Zealand and Sri Lanka’s two-way trade is NZD367 million (41.3 billion LKR), with tea (NZD21 million), rubber tyres and other rubber products (NZD5.5 million) and food preparations (NZD1.8 million) leading Sri Lanka’s exports to New Zealand. While New Zealand’s top exports to Sri Lanka are milk powder (NZD279 million), butter (NZD3.6 million) and fruit (NZD3.1 million).