The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, SCCI, organised the UAE Sri Lanka Forum on Tuesday to discuss areas of cooperation in trade, investment and tourism, and highlight the investment opportunities available in both countries.
Held at the SCCI’s headquarters, the event was part of the chamber’s strategy aimed at strengthening economic cooperation with promising countries and boosting relationships between business communities.
Mohammed bin Dimas, the SCCI Board Member, said, “Through the forum, the chamber seeks to facilitate business prosperity and strengthen its capabilities by coordinating with government authorities in Sri Lanka, adopting the best economic and developmental practices, increasing the volume of trade and activating the flow of investments.”
Nalin Bandara, Deputy Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, Sri Lanka, lauded Sharjah’s milestones, especially the economic one, which made it a leading model, and expressed his country’s desire to build on the UAE-Sri Lankan relations and realise their common goals.
He also hailed the SCCI for organising the UAE Sri Lanka Forum and expressed his happiness at Sri Lanka’s participation in the Expo 2020, stressing that his country has a long history of trade with the UAE.
The UAE is among the top 10 countries in terms of the volume of trade with Sri Lanka, especially in the real estate and infrastructure sectors, and the annual tours from the UAE to Sri Lanka have exceeded 8,500.
Mohammed Ameen Al-Awadhi, Director-General of the chamber, stressed that Sri Lanka has many investment advantages especially in agriculture, non-metallic mineral industries and manufacturing industries. He also called on Sri Lankan investors to take advantage of Sharjah’s competitive advantages, incentives and its strategic geographic location, as well as the investment opportunities available in education, culture, trade, logistics, tourism and industry.
On the sidelines of the forum, the Sharjah International Airport Free Zone, SAIF ZONE, highlighted the advantages of investing in the SAIF ZONE, thanks to its state-of-the-art technological infrastructure and strategic location.
Prasanjith Wijethilake, Executive Director, Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, said that the island country is striving to achieve export revenues of US$20 million in 2020 by adopting the national development strategy, which focuses on promotion and innovation in export routes.
The forum was also attended by Abdallah Sultan Al Owais, Chairman Biography, Chairman of the SCCI; Charitha Yattogoda, Consul General of Sri Lanka in Dubai and the Northern Emirates; Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority; Mohammed Juma Al Mashrekh, Executive Director of the Sharjah Foreign Direct Investment Office; and Abdulaziz Shattaf, Assistant Director-General for Member Services at the SCCI, as well as other executive directors, representatives from the Sharjah free zones and local, economic and tourism bodies and departments, along with Sri Lankan representatives.