Launch of Bilateral Trade and Investment Research Report

Launch of Bilateral Trade and Investment Research Report between Sri Lanka – Australia and Sri Lanka – New Zealand

Sri Lanka – Australia – New Zealand Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce launched its Research Brief on “Trade and Investment between Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand”.

The launch took place at the Colombo Swimming Club with the participation of Australian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka His Excellency Bryce Hutchesson, New Zealand Consul General in Sri Lanka Mr Senaka Silva and representatives from the Department of Commerce, Export Development Board, Board of Investment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The research brief compiled by the Economic Intelligence Unit of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce  will be of benefit for firms doing business with Australia and New Zealand and vice versa, prospective trade and investment partners and also policy makers.

Speaking at the launch were, SLANZBC President  Manjula Lanerolle, Australian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka & Maldives, New Zealand Consul General in Sri Lanka,  Chief Economist of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Anushka Wijesinha and Managing Director, Elegant Knitting, Luke Holmick.

This report brings detailed snapshot of current trade patterns; an analysis of trade potentials using numerous tools; an overview of bilateral investment and an exploration of qualitative issues relating to enhancing bilateral trade and investment. The report also has identified areas that need to be tackled, in terms of trade and investment constraints faced by business people in Sri Lanka-Australia and New Zealand.

Australia is Sri Lanka’s 23rd largest trading partner and New Zealand is Sri Lanka’s 28th largest trading partner. An important issue highlighted in this report is the need to diversify Sri Lanka’s trade with Australia and New Zealand. Currently, there is high export and import concentration in a few categories. Three product categories account for 72 per cent of Sri Lanka’s total exports to Australia and three product categories accounted for 83 per cent of Sri Lanka’s total exports to New Zealand. Just two product categories account for 65 per cent of Sri Lanka’s total imports from Australia, while a single category (dairy) account for 93 per cent of Sri Lanka’s total imports from New Zealand.

While currently the key export products from Sri Lanka to Australia are textiles, tea, and rubber; analysis on potential exports suggests expanding into vegetable products, food products, footwear, plastics, and mineral products. Meanwhile, currently the key export products from Sri Lanka to New Zealand are tea, textiles and rubber; here too the analysis on potential exports suggests expanding into vegetable and food products, chemical products, plastics, and minerals, while increasing textiles even further.