“More MoUs with Philippine firms to negate USD 30 Mn trade deficit”
In 2021 USD 43.6 million worth goods were imported and Lanka exported only USD 12.2 million worth goods to the Philippines, resulting in a trade deficit of USD 31.4 million Sri Lanka-Philippine Business Council (SLPBC) reelected President Ravi De Silva told the AGM held in Colombo recently.
However the member companies of SLPBC managed to sign substantial number of MoUs in areas of pharma, training, education, caregivers and many more with counterparts in the Philippines recently and this would result in easing the USD 31.4 million trade deficit between the two countries, De Silva opined.
He said it was one of his personal goals as the President of the SLPBC to reduce the deficit and to overcome this deficit Lankan businessmen need to go to the Philippines and invest. He said there about 800 Filipinos based in Sri Lanka doing different kinds of businesses and Sri Lankans should follow suit.
The SLPBC Chief said in the past it didn’t happen with such ease but with the recently concluded annual visit to the Philippines by SLPBC to attend the 48th Philippine Business Conference and Expo comprising a 32 delegation which was bigger than the American and Japanese delegation things have started to work.
He said a key feature of the Business Conference was the signing of a MoU between the Sri Lanka-Philippine Business Council and their counterparts the Philippine-Sri Lanka Business Council to jointly promote mutually beneficial trade between both countries.
De Silva said a billionaire Filipino businessman was keen on investing here in solar and many more Filipino businessmen had shown key interest.
He also said they have now roped in the Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) members and they have already signed four MoUs to export their products to the Philippines.
The Consul General for the Philippines in Sri Lanka Hugh Sriyal Dissanayeke commented on the excellent commercial links which were established in 2022 culminating with PCCI 2022 in Manila.
He reiterated that he is certain and looking forward to enhanced links commercial as well as between the peoples of Philippines and Sri Lanka through 2023