Korea is looking at opportunities in investing in the power and energy sector in Sri Lanka, a key Korean trade official said on Wednesday. Korea has plans to establish an electric power plant in Sri Lanka and was seeking out the immense potential for collaboration with Sri Lanka for electricity in terms of construction, production and distribution, Deputy Minister of planning and Coordination and the Minister of Knowledge Economy Jeong Marn-Ki said. The Korean and Sri Lankan governments signed a MoU on the sidelines of the Sri Lanka Expo 2012 exhibition and trade fair in a bid to re-establish trade ties between the two countries having reached 35 years of bilateral trade relations.
The agreement was signed between the Korea Importers Association and the Export Development Board (EDB). Mr. Marn-Ki pointed out that this would provide for greater trade and investment opportunities between the two countries and provide an opportunity for business to business networking as well. The 70 member Korean delegation, believed to be the single largest from Korea todate, comprised more than 50 Korean companies in the fields of trade, investment and tourism. Deputy Economic Development Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene said this MoU would boost opportunities for key investments from Korea to enter the country.
He said the Free Trade Agreements (FTA) by Sri Lanka with India and Pakistan provided key export opportunities for investors to operate from Colombo. Korea had previously invested in a solar power plant of 0.5 MW in 2009 based on a grant of US$3 million. Trade between Sri Lanka and Korea was currently favourable for the latter worth US$261 million. While main exports from Korea are in the sectors of automobile, textiles and fabric; steel the key imports from Sri Lanka are in garments and rubber.