State Minister of International Trade Sujeewa Senasinghe who was on a promotional visit to Italy to enhance Sri Lanka’s exports to the EU under GSP+ concessions and to seek the investment potential at large, met the business community in Milan on 16th October.
At a meeting with Ms. Daniela Cavagna, the President of the Association of the Small Industries(CAN) of Milan he explained the vast investment opportunities available in Sri Lanka for their members particularly on transferring technology through exchanging industry and exporters’ delegations in future.
The State Minister also met with Dr. Fabrizio Sala, the Vice President of Lombardy Region, the most important and vital economic Region in Italy, which represents 25% of the total import/export of Italy and 20% of the total GDP of Italy, where he had a lengthy discussion on a plethora of potentials of Sri Lanka both in trade, investment and service sectors, including air travel. At this meeting, he mentioned that Sri Lanka is the gateway to the Asian region and the world as it has the opportunity to supply to the 4.5 billion people in the region by utilizing the tariff concessions available under various FTAs and schemes like GSP plus of which Sri Lanka is a member or the beneficiary. He further mentioned that Sri Lanka is the only country that has the opportunity to enter the markets such as EU, the USA, China and India at the same time on duty concessions-basis.
On the same day the State Minister met with Dr. Pietro Sala, Vice President of Assolombarda, the Association of the large Industries of Lombardy and Dr. Federico Bega, Head of Strategic Areas of Promos, the special Agency of the Milan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, dedicated to the internationalization of the SMEs of Milan. At this meeting, the State Minister explained in detail on the new political culture and the new democratic era being created in Sri Lanka following the establishment of a unity government that focuses on good governance and policy reform. He also shared the details of the industrial parks that are being initiated in Sri Lanka, and invited Italian technology investments in the areas of electrical and electronic sectors and boat building industry. He also explained the vast opportunities available to Italian and European importers under GSP+ concessions mainly in apparel, and fisheries imports. Booming industry of tourism in Sri Lanka and related investment opportunities were also discussed.
The State Minister also had the opportunity to meet industrial pioneer, Luciano Fantuzzi, President of Fantuzzi Group and his consultant Michael Drewitt to discuss the transfer of heavy machinery technology to Sri Lanka on joint venture basis.
The Minister also addressed the Sri Lanka Business Forum in Milan on the following day. The event was organized by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Italy, and the EDB, in association with Associazione Italiana Commercio Estero (AICE) in Milan.
Minister Senasinghe was accompanied to the meetings by Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Italy, Daya S.J Pelpola, Mrs. Jeevani Siriwardena, DG/EDB and Somasena Mahadilulwewa, Minister (Commercial) of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Rome.