Singapore And Sri Lanka Ink Landmark MOU
Singapore and Sri Lanka forge a business alliance last week when representative business councils of both countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which is also known as a “landmark agreement.”
Signed by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and the Sri Lanka Singapore Business Council, the MOU aims to strengthen the trade ties of both countries particularly in the areas of commerce, investment and tourism.
“This MoU will even enable Singapore businesses to reach out to our growing regional trade Chambers, will empower the counterpart Chamber at our end to streamline Singapore business meetings with our government officials and the private sector, as well as will increase knowledge transfers and foreign exchange from Singapore to Sri Lanka in a considerable manner,” said Sri Lanka Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen.
The landmark agreement aims to tap into the investment potentials of both countries. Currently, Singapore ranks as Sri Lanka’s fourth largest trading partner overseas. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, ranks 37th on Singapore’s list of international trading partner.
The business forum showcased presentations for high profile Singapore and Sri Lanka delegates as well as 127 Sri Lankan participants from 64 companies and 22 Singaporean representatives from 18 firms. It is the first event of this nature in both countries’ bilateral trade history.
Based on statistics released by the Sri Lanka Department of Commerce, Singapore’s trade activities with Sri Lanka last year has resulted to $1.94 billion, a 37% increase from the data a decade ago in 2002 which amounted to only $503 million.
The agreement is also seen by the Sri Lanka government to reach their export target of $20 billion with Singapore by the year 2020.
Both countries have entered a favorable bilateral investment treaty, which protects Singapore investments in Sri Lanka, and the double taxation avoidance treaty, which exempts taxes on imports from both parties.