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Lanka-Australia trade tops AUD 1.5 bn mark

z_pi-LankaAs the Sri Lankan economy continues to grow, opportunities for greater trade and investment will also increase for Australia, said High Commissioner of Australia to Sri Lanka David Holly.

Noting that both Sri Lankan and Australian governments are working together to create an environment conductive to future growth, he said that Australia’s AUD 27 million per year aid program is focused in ensuring Sri Lanka continues its development as a secure, stable and prosperous partner of Australia in the Indian Ocean region. Moreover, the bilateral goods and services trade relationship between the two countries grew strongly in 2018, galloping past the AUD 1.5 billion mark for the first time.

“Our goods trade is still in areas of traditional comparative advantage and Sri Lankan tea and textiles continue to have a good hold in the Australian market. Demand for Australian vegetables, wheat and dairy remains strong in Sri Lanka.

But it is in services, especially education and tourism, where we see strong mutual interest and potential for further sustainable growth. Sri Lanka is also on the map for Australian tourists and close to 110,000 Australian tourists have visited Sri Lanka in 2018 and it the 5th largest source of tourists.More tourists from around the world are good for Sri Lankan tourism operators and also it gives rise to multiple opportunities for Australian firms, including food and beverage.”

High commissioner Holly told a discussion held under the theme, “Bi-lateral trade between Sri Lanka and Australia in Colombo this week. It was organized by the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka

“Against this, it is of some disappointment that bilateral investment between our countries is low. Notwithstanding , interest remains from Australia in investment in Sri Lanka in areas such as higher education , premium food and beverage , dairy agri-tech, port development and allied industries and energy.

There is now measurable and real opportunity to reap the economic rewards from closer bilateral ties.” he noted.

He said further that the launch of direct flights between Melbourne and Colombo in 2017 has also helped and also expressed hope that there will be further air links soon between the two countries.

Courtesy – Daily News

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