Business Times

Sri Lanka to use Mexico to reach North American markets

Sri Lanka is planning to open new channels of investment and trade with Mexico to tap the huge North American market, according to a recent meeting between Sri Lanka Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen and a Mexican delegation in Colombo.

Mr Bathiudeen said joint business partnerships between Mexican and Sri Lankan companies will help access to the difficult North American markets. The minister made these comments when he met Jaime Nualart, Mexican Ambassador to India, Bangladesh, the Maldives & Sri Lanka who is leading a Mexican business delegation to Colombo, a statement from his ministry said.

“Bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and Mexico stand at US$63 million. But what is important is that this is still a small volume and there is much potential between the two countries to enhance it further,” he was quoted as saying. Mexico is Sri Lanka’s 26th-ranked export destination in 2010. Sri Lankan export to increased from $38.26 million in 2002 to $60.99 million in 2010 mainly through cinnamon sales.

The Minister said it was important to enhance the regularity of bilateral cooperation with Mexico and strengthen it further through regular visits by business delegations to each other’s countries.
“To achieve our bilateral trade targets, we need to pursue a strategic trade vision specially to harness synergies of Mexican and Sri Lankan entrepreneurs through mutually beneficial partnerships to exploit promising market opportunities in the US and Canada opened by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA),” he said.

The Mexican delegation was also informed of the sectors like apparel, construction, pharmaceuticals, high end shopping malls and multiplex cinemas which are promising investments in Sri Lanka.
Mexican Ambassador Nualart said that he will invite Mexican businesspersons in India to invest in Sri Lanka. He expressed strong interest in investing here in food processing, multiplex cinemas and construction, specially shopping complexes.

“We want to share information and latest data with Sri Lanka,” Mr Nualart was quoted as saying. Aldo Ruiz (Investment and Trade Commissioner, Mexican Ministry of Economy), said: “Bringing Mexican food processing technology here will enormously assist Sri Lanka’s agro base (to access international markets)”. Speaking of Mexican investments in India, Mr Nualart said that housing, industrial electrical transformers, water pumps, catalytic converters and food products are key Mexican manufacturing investments in India.

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