In order to expand Sri Lanka’s commercial relations with the State of Bahia, the seventh largest regional Economy of Brazil whose GDP is estimated to be over US$ 95 billion, Sri Lanka Embassy in Brazil organized a series of promotional activities in its capital-Salvador from 6-9 March.
General Jagath Jayasuriya, Sri Lankan Ambassador in Brazil and his team had an exclusive meeting with Mr. Rui Costa, Governor of the state of Bahia and the key officials of the State Government where discussions were held on ways and means to enhance bilateral relations especially in the sphere of trade and industry. Governor Rui Costa emphasized the importance of exchange of tourism delegations in order to exploit the untapped potential in the industry. “As an initial step, I wish to visit Sri Lanka with the leaders of tourism industry of Bahia and we would indeed be happy to receive such delegations from Sri Lanka also” said the Governor Costa. Ambassador Jayasuriya said that Sri Lanka tourism witnessed a robust growth after the defeat of LTTE terrorist group in 2009. “We had over two million tourists in 2016 - but only 1,400 from Brazil. This is due to lack of awareness” said Ambassador Jayasuriya. He further said that several Sri Lankan tour companies would participate in ABAV International Tourism show to be held in September in Sao Paulo.
Addressing a business gathering at the Commercial Association, Ambassador Jayasuriya said that Bahia’s emerging middle income market with a GDP per-capita of over US$ 6,000 and a population of 15 million would certainly be an attractive destination for high quality Sri Lankan products such as apparel, specialty food, spices and porcelain & ceramic ware. Mr. Luiz Fernando, president of the association said that Bahia was one of the fast developing states in Brazil due to its strong industry base. “Being the oldest business association in Brazil, we are capable of helping the Sri Lankan companies to get into the market here” president Luiz said.
Sharing his views at a high-tea business meeting at the Federation of Commerce and Services (Fecomércio) which was attended by over 25 businessmen, Ambassador Jayasuriya mentioned “I am really impressed with the great enthusiasm the business community in Bahia is showing to know about Sri Lanka and its products. I invite you all to visit the Sri Lanka Pavilion at the APAS Trade Show to be held from 2-5 May 2017 in Sao Paulo where more than 10 Sri Lankan companies are expected to display a range of products including Ceylon Tea and Coconut Products”.
The main product promotional programme which was held at Hotel São Salvador was attended by over 30 identified leading businessmen based in Salvador. Mr. Premathilake Jayakody, Commercial Counsellor enlightened the gathering on the Sri Lankan export products using product specific videos and presentations. The array of product samples displayed at the venue provided an ideal opportunity for the businessmen to feel a bit of the outstanding quality of Sri Lankan products and also to taste Ceylon Tea.
Speaking at an investment promotion meeting organized by the Federation of Industries of Bahia, Ambassador Jayasuriya briefed the gathering on the importance of Sri Lanka as an investment destination in ‘emerging Asia’. “You consider whatever the prerequisite you would think of for your investment - be it the location, infrastructure, ease of doing business or even the access for utilities and services for that matter - we are the number one in South Asia” said Ambassador Jayasuriya. He highlighted infrastructure, food processing, tourism, technical education and logistics as few of many highly potential sectors in Sri Lanka for investors in Bahia.
During the programme, Ambassador Jayasuriya and his team paid a visit to the ‘Industrial Park of Camaçari’ which is the home for many leading industries in Bahia. Sharing his views with the industry people, Ambassador Jayasuriya said that many industries in the industrial park provided promising opportunities for Sri Lankan exporters who were engaged in export manufacturing, especially auto parts.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
13th March 2017