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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2620

Sri Lankan exporters and tourist promoters have more opportunities at the Swiss market

Martin Stürzinger: “We do not have quota system for readymade garment products. Any body can enter our market with quality products.”  Martin Stürzinger: “We do not have quota system for readymade garment products. Any body can enter our market with quality products.” Sunil C.Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Colombo, 18 January, ( Sri Lanka can grab more tourists and foreign exchange from Switzerland, but a few of local entrepreneurs have contacts with Swiss authorities and the private sector, which contributed Swiss economy.

Martin Stürzinger, Spokesperson and adviser for Peace Building Embassy of Switzerland in Colombo, said around ten thousand Swiss tourists had arrived to Sri Lanka during the last year, but Sri Lankan authorities must promote local tourism sector in Switzerland.

Speaking to media in Colombo on Wednesday, he said a few of Sri Lankan exporters doing business with Swiss partners, such as apparel and textiles.

“We do not have quota system for readymade garment products .Any body can enter our market with quality products,” Martin Stürzinger said.

“The structure of the Swiss economy changed considerably at the end of the 20th century. Traditional jobs and industries declined, while most branches in the service sector continued to grow,” he said.

“Swiss’s economy is based on a highly qualified labour force performing highly skilled work.”

“We export heavy machineries, specially turbines, electrical goods, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, agricultural products .plastics, cosmetics, watches and clocks etc to Sri Lanka and we import precious metals , Agricultural products , textiles and garments from Sri Lanka, “ said Martin Stürzinger.

“Sri Lankan exporters earn fifty million Swiss francs through their exports annually,” he explained.

Martin Stürzinger, told “Sri Lanka exports precious metals and most of Swiss companies use these stones to produce jewellery and other value added products.”

“Your people have to touch our market to grab trade opportunities,” he explained.

At present Swiss trade giants like Nestle and Holcim who are major investors in Sri Lanka with production facilities that cater both to export and domestic markets, are market leaders in respective fields in Sri Lanka.

Talking in terms of imports and exports to Sri Lanka has traditionally been higher in comparison with what it imports from Sri Lanka .To the advantage of Switzerland the value of exports is just about one third of the value of imports, he explained.

Replying questions raised by the media, Martin Stürzinger said Swiss embassy in Colombo is always helping exporters, investors and interested parties to do trade with Swiss partners.

Unlike in trade, direct investments represent a stronger Swiss presence in Sri Lanka .Significantly Switzerland was the highest foreign investor for the year 2004 with US$ 52.42 million invested as per the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka.

There are more than 20 established business enterprises in Sri Lanka with Swiss capital, majority of who are 100 percent Swiss owned. According to assessment from a recent survey Swiss investors provide employment for 15,000 persons in Sri Lanka and the total investment was US$ 232.9 million. According to the same survey by the Embassy here, that places Switzerland among the top five investors.

He said Sri Lanka has potential in the fields of information technology , tourism and technological support to the industrial sector .

- Asian Tribune -

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