Though Sri Lanka – Canada bilateral trade is modest, surging Lankan exports to Canada could turn it around. “Annual Canada-Sri Lanka trade values at present show an unexploited trade potential that needs to be explored” said Minister of Industry, Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons, Cooperative Development, Skills Development & Vocational Training (ICTPDPCDSDVT) Rishad Bathiudeen to High Commissioner of Canada to Sri Lanka David McKinnon while hosting him for a courtesy call on 26 September.
Minister Bathiudeen and High Commissioner McKinnon discussed Sri Lanka and Canada’s shared desire to continue to expand bilateral trade and commercial ties. According to the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka, the total Canada-Sri Lanka trade in 2018 stood at US $ 436 Mn, a near 10% increase from the previous year.
Sri Lankan garment exports to Canada are on the rise, and rubber and other by-products such as tyres, coconuts and sea food are also rapidly diversifying the export product mix. A variety of high-quality Canadian products, notably wheat and lentils, make their way to households across the country, and contribute to the diversification of imports to Sri Lanka. Although modest, some notable Sri Lanka-Canada collaboration includes high-tech production facilities for garments, agriculture value addition such as plant extraction and essences, sea food processing, and ICT partnerships. Other Canadian trade connections to Sri Lanka include sophisticated building technologies, engineering, architecture, financial services, and clean technology.
Sri Lanka’s educated and resilient population, fantastic natural attributes and strategic location astride major trade routes in the fastest growing region in the world, generate enormous potential for bilateral commercial interests and to achieve sustainable economic and social prosperity for Sri Lankans and Canadians.