Mr. Chairman,

My delegation welcomes the delegation of the European Union led by Madam Sabine Weyand, Director-General of Directorate-General for Trade of the European Commission, for the 14th review of the trade policies and practices of the European Union. We thank Ambassador of Brazil, the Discussant for his valuable and insight report and WTO Secretariat and the European Union for their comprehensive reports made available to the delegations in advance of this meeting.

My delegation notes with interest the European Union’s continued economic advancements, in particular, the comparatively strong real GDP growth, despite increasing trade tensions, which also negatively affect the EU’s growth prospects. The EU continues to be an important player in global trade both in terms of merchandise trade in goods and trade in services, while also being the largest trading partner for over 80 countries, including Sri Lanka.
EU is the number one export destination for Sri Lanka and the third largest source of supply of imports for Sri Lanka. Given this significant stance of the EU in the global trade context, the every single trade related policy decision adopted by the European Commission will directly or indirectly affect its trading partners. The small economies like Sri Lanka, whose trade is concentrated on a handful of countries, may experience cascading effects of certain policy decisions adopted by big players in the global trade.

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The Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Sydney in association with Honorary Consul Office in Brisbane organised the Sri Lankan promotional event in Brisbane from 3rd to 5th March 2020.Consul General, Mr. M.H.M.N. Bandara accompanied by Consul (Commercial), Mr. Abdul Raheem visited Brisbane and had series of meetings with Mr. David Phipps, Director/ International Markets of Trade and Investment in Queensland and Ms. Diana Guerguiera, Manager/International Trade of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Queensland and discussed trade, tourism and investment opportunities in Sri Lanka and way forward in connecting the Australian companies in the Queensland region with their Sri Lankan counterparts.

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As per the Mission Action Plan 2020, Sri Lanka High Commission in New Delhi organized a busines interactive session for the members of the BRICS Chamber of Commerce & Industry under the theme of “BUSINESS AND INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN SRI LANKA” , at the High Commission premises on 27th February 2020. The main focus of the business interactive session was to promote Sri Lanka as a potential business and Investment destination and to provide information on opportunities available for the members of the BRICS Chamber of Commerce &Industry to select Sri Lanka as their next investment destination.

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Commemorating the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and the UAE, the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Dubai & Northern Emirates, hosted “Sri Lanka Tourism Promotional Evening and Cultural night” at the most sought-after location in Dubai- Armani Hotel housed in Burj Khalifa, in association with Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau being the main sponsor of the event.

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The High Commission of Sri Lanka together with Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI) and the Malaysia Sri Lanka Business Chamber (MSLBC) organized a Trade Talk on 25th February at the High Commission premises. The objective of the Trade Talk is to strengthen the Trade and Investment partnership with Malaysia.

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