A reliable legal framework and a market-based level playing field are of crucial importance to increase the presence of foreign investors in Sri Lanka and to encourage further foreign direct investments (FDIs) to Sri Lanka, German ambassador Holger Seubert says.
He said so specifically referring to German investors and German companies, launching the 7th edition of Top German Brands in Sri Lanka, in the presence of BOI chairman Sanjaya Mohottala, Chief Delegate of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka Andreas Hergenröther and more than 100 representatives of German brands.
In the context of current restrictions slapped on imports to Sri Lanka, the ambassador emphasised the fact that bilateral trade degenerating into a one-way street was neither free nor fair.
“Sri Lankan exports to Germany were three times higher than German exports to Sri Lanka. Germany is committed to free and fair trade. In fact, German exports to Sri Lanka decreased until the end of November by 26.8%, while Sri Lankan exports to Germany decreased by 5.8%. Until the end of November German exports to Sri Lanka were about 215 million Euro in the year 2020, while Sri Lankan exports were more than three times higher reaching about 664 million Euro”, he said.
Head of Risk Management Solutions of Deutsche Bank Dhakshitha Serasundera speaking at the event said, “It has become increasingly difficult for our clients to manage their foreign exchange exposure given the unprecedented current market environment and volatility which could continue in the near term. Deutsche Bank has been operating in Sri Lanka for 40 years and has been supporting our clients to meet their daily transaction banking and foreign exchange requirements through many different economic cycles.”
AHK Chief Delegate Andreas Hergenröther said, “Despite the Covid-19 pandemic 176 German brands have joined Top German Brands 2021, which is an increase of 13% compared to last year”.
To support current and future German investments in Sri Lanka, the German – Sri Lankan Fast Track Dialogue, which was initiated in 2019 by former Minister Malik Samarawickrama, the German embassy and AHK Sri Lanka, will be continued on February 25.
Through this Dialogue, German companies expect to have the opportunity to discuss with the BOI chairman and other Sri Lankan authorities the challenges and opportunities with regard to their existing or future investments.