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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 1592

World’s 16th largest growth economy to boost trade with Sri Lanka

Colombo, 07 December, (

As Sri Lanka-Turkey bilateral trade volume crossed $ 200 Mn levels for the first time, the 16th largest economy in the world and the fastest growing country in Europe too wants to expand its bilateral trade with Sri Lanka. “We want to expand our trade cooperation with Sri Lanka.Turkish_Ambassador.jpg

Various business Chambers of Turkey are keen on establishing links with Sri Lankan private sector to expand bilateral trade” revealed Serpil Alpman, Turkey's visiting Ambassador ranked diplomat on 26 November.

HE Alpman who was leading a team of Turkish officials to Sri Lanka, was making a courtesy call on Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce on the same day at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Colombo on 26 November.

• ‘Bilateral trade crosses $ 200 Mn mark’ - Rishad

• Sixth largest Ceylon Tea buyer in the world

• ‘Talks to start direct air-links now on’ – Alpman

“We have become an important actor in global trade and we want to expand our trade cooperation with Sri Lanka as part of our expansion. We are now trying to make the needed reforms to join the EU and are targeting $ 500 Bn exports across the world by 2023” Alpman said, and revealed: “We also believe that direct air-links between Turkey and Sri Lanka can assist in strengthening current bilateral trade volumes in a considerable way. I am pleased to say that official discussions to establish direct air-links between Turkey and Sri Lanka are currently on-going at higher levels.”

Minister Bathiudeen, addressing Alpman said: “We warmly welcome you and your special team to Sri Lanka and I am pleased to inform that for the first time, our bilateral trade crossed $ 200 Mn (mark) in 2011, showing a total of $ 206 Mn. We too are keen on Chamber level trade exchanges and new, direct air links to boost bilateral trade further. We believe that there is strong but yet unrealized trade potentials between both countries which we should jointly explore through these measures.”

Turkey and Sri Lanka signed an agreement on air transportation in December 2008.

Turkey was the fastest growing economy in Europe in 2011 with 8.5% GDP growth and the 16th largest economy in the world with a GDP of $ 770 Bn (2011). Sri Lanka’s trade with Turkey has been on an increasing trend for the last few years. Turkey is the sixth largest Pure Ceylon Tea buyer in the world. Sri Lanka’s bilateral trade with Turkey grew by 6.6% in 2011 compared to 2010 but the total trade value which stood at $ 97.4 Mn in 2005 jumped to $ 206.5 Mn in 2011, registering 112% increase compared to 2005. Sri Lanka’s major export items to Turkey are tea, textiles and apparel, man-made staple fibres, rubber, chemical products, cotton, vegetable and certain roots and tubers. The value of Ceylon Tea tea exports to Turkey in various forms stood at $ 78 Mn in 2011.

The Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation between Sri Lanka and Turkey was signed in August 2002 to further strengthen bilateral co-operation in the fields of economic and technical cooperation. All legal requirements have been fulfilled and the Agreement has entered into force effective 27 November 2007.

Also present during the courtesy call were Aykut Renda (Embassy Official of Turkish Embassy, New Delhi), and Ezgi Ulusoy Yilmaz (Expert from Expo 2020 Secretariat), Ms Indhi Wijeratne (acting Turkish Counsellor in Sri Lanka), PD Fernando (Director General of Department of Commerce) and Asoka Godawita (Assistant Director, Department of Commerce).

- ASian Tribune -

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