The following sectors are actively promoted by Sri Lanka through the Board of Investment (BOI)
Sri Lanka and Thailand have historically had excellent trade relations, during the Thailand-Sri Lanka business forum which was held in November 2015, his Excellency the President of Sri Lanka pointed out that the bi-lateral trade between the two countries exceeds USD 500 Mn. ()
The warm welcome for Thai investors extends from the very pinnacle of Sri Lanka.
Among the sectors with high future investment potential are
· Tourism : Sri Lanka is focusing heavily on boosting its tourism industry, so Thailand’s excellence in tourism as one of the highest sought after global destinations can lead to mutually profitable investment. One notable example of Thai excellence in impacting Sri Lanka is the long history of Minor Hotel Group of Thailand and its long history in Sri Lanka. With the GoSL and Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority focusing on revamping the offering for a tourist in Sri Lanka it is a good time for Thai tourist sector to look at Sri Lanka as a viable addition to their portfolio of offerings.
· Agriculture: With its matching climates and geographies, Thai agriculture companies can play a huge role in the sector in Sri Lanka. Cassava and related products, of which Thailand is the world’s no.1 exporter grows well in Sri Lanka. Sugar cane, of which Thailand is the world’s 2nd largest exporter, is also an industry that has a long history in Sri Lanka with potential for growth. Pineapple is also hugely successful Thai industries which can grow in Sri Lanka. A substantial part of Sri Lankans are involved in agriculture and related industries, but it provides only a nominal part of the island’s GDP – mainly due to outdated techniques of growing, harvesting, packaging and presentation of food related products. This is a huge opportunity for growth through Innovation for a prospective company.
· Aquaculture: National Aquaculture DevelopmentAuthority of Sri Lanka oversees the development of aquaculture in Sri Lanka and with Thailand being one of the leading producers of canned Tuna and Shrimp in the world there is substantial opportunity in this segment. According to the FAO, almost 50% of seafood consumed worldwide comes from aquaculture but in Sri Lanka that number is far lower, with a huge majority of seafood consumed being caught from the wild. This itself is an untapped opportunity for businesses to solve a looming ecological crisis of overfishing while improving food security and creating mutual value.
· Food preservation and packaging : As one of Asia’s leading packaged and preserved food exporters, Thailand has a wealth of knowledge which can find a wealth of opportunity in Sri Lanka. Food wastage in the logistical process is a huge issue in Sri Lanka, and the expertise of Thai industry can help reduce this mounting problem and simultaneously provide a lucrative and viable investment opportunity. Also, with its excellence in innovative packaging, Thai businesses can invest in developing the packaging sector of Sri Lanka in order to move higher up the value chain and ramp up food related exports.
· Automobile industry : As one of the largest commercial vehicle producers in the world, Sri Lanka presents an opportunity not only in its own domestic market, but in neighbouring countries such as India, Bangladesh and Pakistan with high populations and high projected vehicle growth prospects.
· Gem, Jewellery and related industries : Both Sri Lanka and Thailand have a rich history in this trade and according to the Export Development Board of Sri Lanka, ( ) Thailand is a major export market for Sri Lankan gems. With Thailand being known globally as a major hub for gem and jewellery exports, the opportunities for the industry in a country such as Sri Lanka which extracts some of the highest quality raw gemstones in the world are unparalleled. The National Gem and Jewellery Authority (www.ngja.gov.lk) is the state appointed entity which oversees this sector and can provide all relevant information regarding the industry.
Source: Board of Investment of Sri Lanka and “Huge Potential for Thai Investment in Sri Lanka” , Thursday, Octber 23, 2014 Daily News