A Webinar on Sri Lanka: Business Opportunities in IT and Outsourcing initiated by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Germany was organised by the Chamber of Commerce (IHK) Frankfurt am Main and the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Frankfurt am Main in cooperation with the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka (AHK Sri Lanka) and the OAV – German Asia Pacific Business Association on 28 October, 2020.
The audience comprised German and Sri Lankan companies. Since many years, Sri Lanka has established itself as a hub for the international IT and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector. Trailing the textile and tourism industry, the IT/BPO sector accounts for 13.2% of service exports. Sales have passed the 1 billion US$ threshold. Local start-ups as well as global IT firms are working in Sri Lanka to provide digital solutions for the global market.
Managing Director for International Business of IHK Jurgen Ratzinger warmly welcomed the participants as well as the distinguished speakers to the IHK platform and wished for a fruitful discussion.
Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Germany Manori Unambuwe in her opening remarks invited the more than 100 registered participants to look at Sri Lanka’s vibrant digital sector and its unique selling-points and gave an overview of the bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Germany.
Entrepreneurs and experts gave examples of how successful German-Sri Lankan cooperation can work in tandem. Mr. Mano Sekram of the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) who presented on Strengths of Sri Lankan IT Sector gave a detailed account of the special incentives offered in Sri Lanka to enable sustainable growth, Sri Lanka’s strong labour force of specialized experience and how to leverage Sri Lanka as your digital gateway to Asia. Mr. Sekram highlighted that at present there are over 300 Sri Lankan companies accounting for 90% of Sri Lankan IT export.
The current level of bilateral trade is 1.2 billion Euros and Sri Lankan exports to Germany account for more than 755 million Euros and imports from Germany to Sri Lanka amounts to 317 million Euros. In 2019, Sri Lanka recorded a positive trade balance of Euro 438 million.
Founder of LiveRoom Sameera Nilupul and CEO, Personello Ulf Unbehaun with their impressive Business Testimonials highlighted on the Online E-Commerce presence and operating in a niche market which are very relevant in the present day context of our lives during this global pandemic.
Dr. Svantje Huwel of Hessen Trade and Invest GmbH who presented on ITY clusters in Hessen covered cyber security and informed on the progress of digitalization in Hessen companies.
Chief Delegate of the AHK/Sri Lanka Andreas Hergenrother, gave an in-depth view on Bilateral Trade between Sri Lanka and Germany and how to take advantage of the Business opportunities available in Sri Lanka. He highlighted that the IT Sector in Sri Lanka has continued to perform well during the first 9 months of 2020. In fact, with a growth rate of 8% IT exports, the IT sector has been one of the most resilient during the Covid-19 pandemic in Sri Lanka. His presentation was followed by a very lively Q & A Session.
Suggestions focused on need for the collaboration of Sri Lankan and German companies in the IT Industry and to further boost business in IT sourcing between the two countries.
Consul General Madurika Joseph Weninger in her vote of thanks appreciated the excellent presentations made by the distinguished speakers and expressed deep gratitude to Director International Business of the Frankfurt Chamber of Commerce Johannes Richter for assisting the Consulate General of Sri Lanka with the meticulous planning and organising the Webinar and making it a resounding success.