Sri Lanka, France to promote manufacturing, infrastructure investments
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s investment and export promotion agencies have signed a two-year deal with Business France, a French government agency, to encourage investment in manufacturing and infrastructure.
The tripartite Memorandum of Understanding between Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment, Export Development Board of Sri Lanka and Business France will enhance cooperation, trade and investment, a statement said.
Business France helps French companies do business abroad and promotes foreign investments in France.
“This MOU is a very positive development since it will help to increase in the future investment in areas such as manufacturing and infrastructure,” BOI Chairman Dumindra Ratnayake said.
“It has to be seen in connection with the FTAs that Sri Lanka has entered into with India, Pakistan and Singapore and will sign in the future with China. These FTAs give market access to goods produced in Sri Lanka.”
The agreement will help to strengthen relations and facilitate trade and investment with France in the future.
Indira Malwatte, Chairperson of the EDB, said they were promoting ship and boat building, spices to be used in the manufacture of perfumes and cosmetics and the IT sector.
“It is our decision to focus just on three sectors for the moment and these are sectors where France is very strong.”
Sophie Clavelier, Head of Business France South Asia, said they will work together in developing certain niche areas that Sri Lanka has to offer.
“One area which I would like to see develop is the agro sector where Sri Lanka has lot of potential.”
Jean-Marin Schuh, Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka, said they are focusing on expanding French exports as well as Sri Lankan investment in France.
“There are certain areas where l see many possibilities. For example the French side could be interested in developing Sri Lankan ports as France has many leading shipping companies. I also see opportunities in the development of tourism. This is an area where France has considerable experience and in 2020 our country will attract 120 million tourists.”
(COLOMBO, July 12, 2018)