A high level New Zealand Business delegation , representing 17 companies on Wednesday organized a business forum with Sri Lankan exporters and corporate heads in Colombo. The objective of holding such a large scale a business forum for the first time in the country is to further strengthen the on- going New Zealand - Sri Lanka business ties which began several decades ago.
The reception was hosted by Grahame Morton, High Commissioner to India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal, while the visiting business delegation was led by former New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Sir Don McKinnon ONZ GCVO and Grahame Morton, High Commissioner to India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. Addressing the gathering Sir Don McKinnon said that his business team is expected to meet several other local exporters during their short stay in the island to discuss about future business plans. He said it was happy to see the rapid development of trade between New Zealand and Sri Lanka over the past decade.
He said, the majority of New Zealand's trade is commodity based and there are increasing opportunities for New Zealand companies in Sri Lanka, particularly in the aviation, training and education, specialized manufacturing and creative industries. New Zealand with a population of 21.5 million , the highest per capita income in South Asia is expected to increase the export of verities goods in addition to customary goods between the two countries in the coming years.
The current trade statistics reveal that New Zealand exported US$ 229 million worth goods to Sri Lanka during the first six months of this year, while it reveals that at present New Zealand and Sri Lanka's two-way trade is worth $280 million. The main goods currently exports New Zealand to Sri Lanka are milk powder, fruit such as apples and pears and also butter, while Sri Lanka exports verities of items such as tea and spices including pepper, ginger, nut meg and cardomam. Among the business representatives from New Zealand companies represented at the business forum were DGL International Powder Coatings, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation Ltd, Eastern Institute of Technology, Genomic and Personalised Medicine Ltd,
International Aviation Academy of New Zealand, Maxiloda Limited, NORTHEC, Patton Refrigeration India Pvt Ltd, Powershield Ltd and Quality NZ. Five educational institutions also joined the business delegation and all are offering New Zealand qualifications which are in demand in the job market and ensuring work-ready graduates.
The visiting Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) seek to engage with Sri Lankan education providers as well as corporate and industry to showcase their offerings and establish mutually beneficial linkages. In addition, representatives from world renowned educational institutions including Southern Institute of Technology, Tait Communications, Unitec Institute of Technology, Vista Entertainment Solutions, WAML Group, Wellington Institute of Technology and Whitireia New Zealand were also present at the business forum.