The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Embassy in Poland, Hony. Consul for Sri Lanka in Poland and the Chamber of Commerce in Warsaw, organized E- Trade Week Sri Lanka – Central Eastern Europe programme. This programme commenced with a webinar on “Trade opportunities between Sri Lanka and the Central and Eastern European Region” on 19th October. Subsequent to the webinar, virtual B2B meeting sessions commenced from 20th October, 2020. The programme mainly focused on the sectors of apparel and spices.
The inaugural webinar, held on 19th October, 2020, was attended by 50 participants from Sri Lanka, Poland, Russia and Ukraine. H.E. C.A.H.M. Wijeratne, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Poland, in his opening remarks at the event emphasized the timely requirement and importance for Sri Lanka to explore trade opportunities in Central and Eastern Europe and pointed out the longstanding diplomatic relationship between Sri Lanka and Poland. Jacek Czauderna, Hony. Consul for Sri Lanka in Poland, addressing the webinar, assured his fullest cooperation in strengthening the bilateral trade relationship between both countries. Marek Traczyk, Chairman of Warsaw Chamber of Commerce, who was the moderator of webinar stated that they wish to further extend trade and business ties with Sri Lanka.
Speaking at the online event, Chitranjali Dissanayake, Director General of the EDB, conveyed her gratitude to the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Poland, Jacek Czauderna, the Hony. Consul for Sri Lanka in Poland and the Chamber of Commerce in Warsaw, for their untiring efforts in organizing this programme on behalf of Sri Lanka. She further stressed the importance of these types of events in the initiatives undertaken to diversify Sri Lanka’s exports into new markets.
Yohan Lawrence, representing the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF), conducted a presentation on “Sri Lanka’s Apparel for Central Europe” with the objective of promoting Sri Lanka’s apparel products in Central Europe . More than 16 Sri Lankan companies in the sectors of apparel and spices presented the profiles of their companies during the webinar.
Sri Lanka’s exports to Europe represent 30% of the total export revenue. However, 90 % of that is derived from Germany (19%), Italy (15%), Belgium (11%) and the Netherlands (10%) plus the United Kingdom (29%). Although there is potential for Sri Lankan products to penetrate Central and Eastern Europe, Sri Lanka’s share of exports to the region is insignificant compared to the share of the other Asian countries’ exports to Central and Eastern Europe.
It is important to identify a suitable market-entry strategy and business linkages with Central and Eastern Europe to increase the market share of Sri Lanka’s exports in this untapped market of the EU Region whilst maximizing the benefits from the EU GSP+ facility. In alignment with this purpose, the EDB organized this programme to introduce Sri Lankan companies to the Central and Eastern European Region.
Along with this webinar, the Hony. Consul for Sri Lanka in Poland and the Chamber of Commerce in Warsaw, have already launched a promotional campaign – including a digital campaign – and promotional meetings with business associations to promote Sri Lankan companies in the Central European Region to create business linkages for Sri Lankan companies.
As the 2nd phase of the webinar, a series of virtual B2B meetings were organized for Sri Lankan companies in the sectors of apparel and spices from 20th Oct, 2020, onwards. The Chamber of Commerce in Warsaw, and Sri Lanka Hony. Consul office in Poland at the moment are undertaking initiatives towards organizing business meetings for Sri Lankan companies with the relevant buying companies in Poland, Russia, Ukraine and other CEE countries during the month of October 2020.