Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka is reviving bilateral trade with the second wealthiest economy in Gulf this week after a lapse of two decades.
“We are reviving the Sri Lanka-Kuwait Joint Trade Committee after 21 years. This shall be a new turning point in the long-standing Kuwaiti-Sri Lanka relations” said the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen addressing the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Sri Lanka Khalaf Bu Dhhair in Colomboduring a preparatory discussion on the Second Session of Sri Lanka-Kuwait Joint Trade Committee that will open in Kuwait on 9 October.
A 13-member strong Sri Lankan official delegation led by Minister Bathiudeen, with officials from the Ministries of Industry and Commerce, Finance, Megapolis Development, Foreign Affairs, Higher Education, as well as state agencies (Foreign Employment Bureau, DoC and BoI) are scheduled to take flight today. “Kuwait is the 49th import partner of Sri Lanka while Sri Lanka is ranked as 82nd partner in Kuwaiti import basket by 2016.
Sri Lanka’s total trade with Kuwait which was at US$ 46.68 Mn in 2016 and has increased by 4% to US$ 48.56 Mn in 2017. Last year’s total Lankan exports to Kuwait were at US $33 Mn while imports totaled US $15 Mn. Overall trade between the two countries peaked to US $88 Mn in 2011 which drastically declined thereafter due to the drop in importation of petroleum oil from Kuwait.
Sri Lanka’s leading exports to Kuwait this year so far have been Ceylon Tea, food preparations, fruits, nuts and other plant edibles, and Wood Fiberboard.