Sri Lanka-Turkey trade crosses US$ 300m barrier | Daily News

Sri Lanka-Turkey trade crosses US$ 300m barrier

Reyaz Mihular (Managing Partner and Country Head of KPMG Sri Lanka-far right) joins Guavanchmyrat Hezretov (CEO/General Secretary of TCBC-left) to honour Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen (centre) at the inauguration event of the Turkey Ceylon Business Council on 23 September at Cinnamon Grand, Colombo.

Lanka-Turkey bilateral trade crossed the US$300 Mn barrier for the first time, a pioneering mechanism that establishes the much needed B2B linkage between both countries was unveiled in Colombo on 23 September.

Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the inaugural event of Turkey Ceylon Business Council in Colombo on September 23. Joining the event were visiting international businessmen from Turkey, Australia, France, and Sri Lanka as well as members of Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey. TUSKON is the most-wide spread and effective business - NGO in Turkey.

"Sri Lanka's Trade with Turkey has been increasing over the last few years. In 2014, total bilateral trade stood at $311 Mn. Today's launch of Turkey Ceylon Business Chamber takes place along such positive developments and we have no doubts that the outcomes too would be encouraging," said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce.

"In recent years, Turkey's initiatives to strengthen their partnership with Sri Lanka, especially in trade has seen an increase. Back in 2013 Sri Lanka was honoured to be the first ever Asian Partner country at Turkey's Izmir international trade Fair series," said Minister Bathiudeen.

"Personally, I too was honoured to lead the 45 member strong Lankan delegation and address this 82nd event of this series held in Izmir in 2013 August. It is no secret that Turkish businesses have been expressing their interest to enter Sri Lanka for bigger partnerships. When the representatives of Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey (TUSKON) met me in January 2014, in Colombo they too informed me that they were excited about expanding their trade, with Sri Lanka and that Lanka's tourism sector was interesting for them. As you may know TUSKON is the largest and most widespread non-profit business and industry community of Turkey, " added.

"Today's TCBC launch event also takes place at an important time-that is, the new council is born as a new unity government led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, is preparing to take Sri Lankan economy into the upper range of the middle income ranks. The other reason that today's historic launch is important is that at this time strong growth trends are also reported in historic Sri Lanka-Turkey bilateral trade.

In 2014 total bilateral trade stood at $311 million growing by 34% from 2013's total. I am also pleased to say that the balance of trade has been in favour of Sri Lanka," he concluded.

"TUSKON consists of more than 50,000 Turkish firms-in fact, around 55000," said Mecit Ozkelebek (Secretary, TUSKON Head Office, Turkey)

"I invite you to do business with Turkey as it is geographically very central so that you can reach across Europe. I hope we too can find opportunities in Sri Lanka.

"We believe that we can have partnerships here through this new Council. I believe this new business link would be very busy in the coming days," he said.

Over a nine year period of 2005-2014, bilateral trade turnover between Sri Lanka and Turkey leaped by a huge 219%.