Grateful to H.E. the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Russia, who discovers possibilities for collaboration in different Regions of the Russian Federation apart from its capital city, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Russia and the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka( FCCISL) with the support of the Export Development Board and National Gem and Jewelry Authority held a business forum in Colombo attended by a Russian Business Delegation, attracting more than 250 exporters. The event was honored by the presence of Acting Additional Secretary of the Foreign Ministry, Mrs. Manisha Gunasekera, Additional Secretary ( public Enterprises and restructuring ) of Ministry of Industry, Mr. Rangith Wimalasooriya, Chairperson of Export development Board, Mr. Suresh De Mel and trade section of the Embassy of the Russian Fderation in Sri Lanka.

The Senior Vice president of FCCISL, Keerthi Gunawardena opened the event welcoming the participants and underlining the importance of strengthening the relations between Sri Lanka and Russia in rather challenging times both countries are experiencing.

Further, Ajith D Perera –Secretary General/CEO of FCCISL delivered a presentation on Russia-Sri Lanka trade relations and stressed the fact that despite a long-standing political and economic relations trade volumes have not substantially grown up. This clearly show that there has been a need to develop a strategic business plan at the government level between two countries and requested to resume the third Session of the Inter-governmental commission at an early date. Speaking further, he noted that the objective of this forum is to break the negative sentiments promoted by social media all around us. In fact at FCCISL we think differently and at a time when negative business sentiments are being promoted by social media all around us we really wanted to do something to break these negative sentiments so we were determined to do this event. The Russian Delegation is expected to introduce e-commerce solutions to reach the Russian marketplaces and he expressed his confidence that Sri Lankan exporters will get the best out of these alternative ways of trade, he concluded .

Commending the efforts of the Sri Lankan Embassy in Moscow and FCCISL, . Rangith Wimalasooriya, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Industry said the objective of the Ministry is to increase trade with value added products, develop IT sector and High technologies which are important to attract investments to numerous projects of Sri Lanka.

Speaking at the forum Suresh De Mel the chairman of Export Development Board said that business forums like this can create new business relationships among the business community in both countries and make a platform for them to explore new business opportunities available in Sri Lanka & Russia.This will strengthen and consolidate the commercial ties between Sri Lanka and Russia .He also noted that Russia was Sri Lanka's 18th export destination and 22nd import origin in 2021,Total bilateral trade between Russia and Sri Lanka was US$ 314.73 million for the same period.Sri Lanka's total export to Russia stood at US$ 151.4 million in 2021
Sri Lankan's major exports to Russia are Tea , Apparel, Coco Peat, Fiber Pith & Moulded products, Industrial & Surgical Gloves of Rubber, Pneumatic & Retreated Rubber Tyres & Tubes, Activated Carbon, Frozen Fish, Desiccated Coconut and Coconut Oil.Recent statistics with regard to trade between Sri Lanka and Russia shows that there has been a marginal drop in exports from Sri Lanka to Russia.There is a lot of potential that Sri Lanka can explore in the areas of Tea, Coconut Products, Rubber Products, Spices and Fruits & Vegetables.
Alexey Tseleshchev Attache of the Russian Embassy in Colombo, thanked the organizers for inviting him to be a part of this Forum, providing an opportunity to communicate with the representatives of Sri Lankan business circles and discuss the number of ideas on the improvement of trade and economic relations between our nations. He mentioned that today Russia is witnessing the record harvest of wheat. The alteration of logistic chains creates an opportunity to reorient the supplies of Russian fuel as well as fertilizers. Sri Lanka can become a part of this process of restructuring Russian export and obtain these much needed products. What is more, Sri Lanka may serve as a maritime hub for Russian export commodities. Russia was delivering coal to the island. There are many opportunities for the Sri Lankan business in Russia as well. Russia remains one of the top export markets for the Sri Lankan tea industry. There are prospects in IT services, coconut based products can be used in Russian agricultural sector. Connecting of Sri Lanka to the financial remittance system of the Bank of Russia and in introducing MIR payment system on the island would allow to establish direct financial communication and currency exchange, cut transactional losses, and make the process of bank transfers secure and stable. The implementation of these mechanisms in Sri Lanka would have a boosting impact on the tourism industry.
Igor Kirilov the Director General of GTC while addressing the forum said his company started an on line dialogue with Sri Lankan exporters at the invitation of Sri Lankan ambassador in Moscow Prof Janitha Liyanage with the help of FCCISL
some time back, Our intentions are very clear and we want to buy from Sri Lanka.
GTC is an on line trading platform operating on both B2B and B2C platforms that can help Sri Lankan exporters. GTC would promote Sri Lankan products through its own on line platform and using other major on line trade portals such as wildberries and Ozon in Russia. Apart from these big players there ae also on line wholesalers working as B2b platforms such as All Supplier,Opt list,agro server, Rosselkhoz,sima lend.This way both Russian industrial buyers and consumers will place the orders through GTC which has the capability to offer its services to all types of exporters without being differentiated. E commerce market in Russia and EAEU countries is growing steadily and by 2022 it will be increased by 32% and the expected share of e commerce by 2024 will be 19% of the total trade turnover. GTC has built a complete supply chain and sales of products on the main electronic platforms , market places of Russia and EAEC countries, We would offer you the best solution for your exports to Russia/ EAEC countries. we can organize the full cycle of sales transactions in market places and whole sale on line –stores on the territory of Russia and EAEC countries including any interactions with customs, transport ,certifications and other services therefore Sri Lankan exporters can save not only time but also considerable amounts of money as well Igor Kirilov concluded.

Further, representative from the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Russia,. Anna Makarovskaya delivered the presentation on the current economic situation in the Russian Federation inviting the Sri Lankan exporters to attend the major Trade Fairs in Russia using an opportunity to establish new business contacts and take over the niches left by western companies.

The Sri Lankan Ambassador to Russia Prof Janitha Liyanage sent a congratulatory note to the Business forum conveying her best wishes and greetings. commenting on the business forum she had stated Its my great pleasure to see that much awaited visit by this Russian trade delegation becomes a reality. We are thankful to the delegation for visiting Sri Lanka at this challenging time. We are also thankful to the FCCISL , EDB ,State Gem and Jewelry Authority and Ministry of Industries for their contribution to make this event a success. My fervent wish is to promote export opportunities to Sri Lankan business community specially to SME sector which contributes a negligible share ( 5%) to National export volume.


Russian delegates and officials from Sri Lankan government and FCCISL