COLOMBO : A programme to promote Sri Lankan Agri products and Processed Food in the Indian market was launched in Mumbai a week ago to implement President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Export Economic Policy.
Accordingly, a webinar on “India – Sri Lanka Current Business Environment and Opportunities for Joint Collaborations for Agri and Processed Food Sector”, organized by the Sri Lanka Consulate in Mumbai in collaboration with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce [CCC] and IMC Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IMC), Mumbai was held on 29 September 2020. This was the first online forum targeting to promote & diversify Sri Lanka’s Agri products and Processed Food to the Indian market.
Addressing the Webinar, Sri Lanka Consul General in Mumbai, Chamari Rodrigo said that the present business environment in Sri Lanka is conducive as Sri Lanka is successfully controlling the COVID-19 pandemic and the Government is committed to facilitate & promote business climate in Sri Lanka. Highlighting the remarkable bilateral relationship between India and Sri Lanka, she urged the Sri Lankan agri & processed food exporters to focus on non-traditional exports to Indian market and utilize the unique duty concessions offered to Sri Lanka for Agri products under ISFTA. ‘Joint ventures between Sri Lankan Agro industry & Indian post-harvest industry could yield many benefits for both the countries through technology transfers and advanced machinery’, she added.
The President of IMC Chamber Rajiv Poda in his remarks said that IMC chamber has always encouraged healthy business relationships between India and Sri Lanka and feels that there are number of opportunities to create synergies between the two countries in the agri and processed food sector. He further said that India has improved its food processing technology & post -harvest technology and Sri Lankan business could benefit from it through joint ventures.
Chief Executive Officer of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Manjula de Silva stated that Indian investors have vast experience in value addition activities and Sri Lankan agri sector, especially fruits & vegetables, can benefit from Indian investments. “Aqua culture, value added coconut products and confectionary are other potential sectors for value addition” he added.
Presentations on opportunities and strengths of the domestic agri & processed food sector were made by two Indian resource persons highlighting the fact that the demand for processed food has been growing substantially due to the increasing urban middle class in India and Sri Lankan exporters could utilize these untapped opportunities.
Chairman of Sri Lankan Agripreneurs Rizvi Zaheed shared his perspective on diversified Sri Lanka’s Agri & process food sector and the global recognition accumulated by Sri Lankan products through adherence to high manufacturing standards and innovation. Sri Lanka could be used as a window for Indian agri products to enter markets such as China, Japan and European countries by leveraging on the reputation of Sri Lankan agri products on a preferential basis. “Indian investment in value addition and storage facilities in the agri & processed food sector was welcomed”he said.
Q & A session and individual inquires on business opportunities were answered by representatives from each country. This webinar will be followed by B2B meetings between Indian & Sri Lankan companies in mid October.
Eighty two (82) business representatives from Indian & Sri Lankan companies participated at the webinar.