The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry, SCCI, represented by its Chairman, HE Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, received a Sri Lankan high-level delegation headed by HE Malraj De Silva, Sri Lankan Ambassador to the UAE, accompanied by Mr. Nalinda Wijerathna, Consul-General of Sri Lanka in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.
The meeting touched on the prospects for joint cooperation between the two sides, increasing trade exchange, enhancing business partnerships between business communities in Sharjah and Sri Lanka, and intensifying meetings between commercial delegations to speed up the performance of business sectors in various commercial, industrial, and service sectors.
Present at the meeting were HE Mohammad Ahmed Amin Al-Awadi, SCCI Director-General, Fatima Al Mokarrab, Director of International Relations Department, and Lalu Samuel, Chairman of the Representative Committee of the Industry Sector Business Group.
The two sides discussed strengthening cooperation in industry, commerce, tourism, and education sectors, introducing investment opportunities available in both countries, and organizing joint events to make the most of the important competitive economic elements in Sharjah and Sri Lanka.
They also underlined the need to further cooperate in the exhibitions and conferences sector, calling the businessmen on both sides to play an active role in developing the relationship between the two friendly countries.
While welcoming the visiting delegation, Abdullah Sultan Al Owais expressed his hope that this visit would form a new starting point for the bilateral relationship and economic cooperation between Sharjah and Sri Lanka, especially after the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Such meetings are of particular importance as they help introduce businessmen to the available investment opportunities, strengthen bilateral and economic relations, and increase trade exchange between the two countries,” added Al Owais.
Malraj De Silva said: “The visit aims to further develop the bilateral cooperation between the two sides, especially that UAE and Sri Lanka have a long history of cooperation in economic field and trade exchange.
The Sri Lankan Ambassador noted that the UAE is among the top 10 countries in the volume of trade with Sri Lanka in various economic sectors such as real estate, infrastructure, food, and tourism sectors, calling the SCCI to learn closely about areas of investment in his country, especially in the agricultural, printing, publishing, education fields, and in particular, the medical tourism which is witnessing a tremendous leap and enjoying advanced investment components.
For his part, Mohammad Ahmed Amin Al-Awadi highlighted the SCCI’s eagerness to develop and strengthen its relations with various countries of the world to find out more about the mutual investment opportunities and trade cooperation that serve the interests of Sharjah’s business community and boost its presence in international markets.
Al-Awadi invited Sri Lankan investors and businessmen to take advantage of Sharjah’s numerous competitive benefits and the facilities given to the private sector, making the emirate a highly successful and rewarding choice.
In turn, Lalu Samuel made a presentation on Sharjah’s industrial sector which is the largest across the country, shedding light on its diverse products, including (oil, plastics, furniture, food products, electrical tools, concretes, water pipes, textiles, and others. He added: “All of these industries are accredited by international bodies and conform to international specifications and standards.”
At the end of the visit, the Sri Lankan delegation toured the permanent exhibition of locally manufactured products, where they were briefed on a wide range of products that are locally manufactured by more than 180 firms and exhibited through 191 stands. They praised the high quality of the products, stressing that the exhibition is an ideal platform for promoting products and enhancing cooperation opportunities between exhibiting companies and visiting delegations.
It is worth noting that the value of non-oil imports from Sri Lanka to the UAE amounted to 791.5 million dollars, and the value of exports from the UAE to Sri Lanka reached 124 million dollars during the year 2019, while the SCCI includes about 83 Sri Lankan registered companies.