Ms. Selma Bardakçı, Coordinator of Asia-Pacific Business Councils of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK) of Türkiye visited the Embassy for a discussion with Ms. Hasanthi Urugodawatte Dissanayake, Ambassador of Sri Lanka recently.
Upon its establishment in 1986, DEİK was assigned with tasks of organizing and managing the foreign economic relations of the Turkish private sector, in particular with respect to foreign trade, international investments, services, contracting and logistics; to analyze investment opportunities at home and abroad; to help boost the country’s exports, and to coordinate similar business development activities. DEIK comprises of Business Councils, Founding Institutions and individual members that represent Turkey’s business community and its leading entrepreneurs, contributing to the functioning of the institution on a voluntary basis. DEİK sees itself as more than an organization of business people because it takes foreign economic relations as the basis of today’s civilization, as agent of intercultural exchange and as driving force of humanity’s development. In summary, DEİK is Turkey’s window to the world; its global representative of country’s values, vision and potential.
Ms. Bardakçı explained to the Ambassador about the structure, member profile and activities of DEİK and added that some of their members are notable investors working mainly in trade and industry as well as tourism. Ambassador mentioned that Sri Lankan’s have been successfully working at different levels of tourism industry in the world. She said there is interest from a Turkish tourism company to recruit Sri Lankans, and would like to connect with related DEİK members in the tourism sector which would be interested in hiring Sri Lankan professionals particularly for the tourism sector.
Ambassador expressed Sri Lanka’s desire to enhance the trade and investment relations with Türkiye and recalled Turkish President’s desire to increase the bilateral trade to 500 Mn USD during her first meeting with the President. Ms. Bardakçı said that given the mandate of DEİK, indeed they would support this target by way of information sharing seminars, online meetings followed by exchange of visits by business delegations.
Ambassador proposed to organize an online meeting/Sri Lanka presentation in April with the participation of Turkish business community and institutions from Sri Lanka such as EDB, BOI, Sri Lanka Tourism Board, as well as the Turkish Ambassador in Sri Lanka. Ambassador also proposed to give the floor to the Hony. Consuls and selected Turkish & Sri Lankan businessmen to speak about the business environment and business opportunities in Sri Lanka. This could be followed up by a business delegation from Türkiye to Sri Lanka in the month of October in 2023, as such dates could coincide with the centennial of the foundation of Republic of Türkiye celebrations in Sri Lanka.
Ambassador updated Ms. Selma on the current economic situation, prominent products of the country, including spices, and product differences in terms of quality with some other producing countries. Ambassador also mentioned that Renewable Energy & Electrical Vehicles (EV) sectors as having much potential for investment and trade in Sri Lanka, as some key raw materials for the EV batteries are naturally found in the country. She added that Sri Lanka would be glad to see Turkish companies in the renewable energy sector, for trading as well as investments by way of joint ventures.
Noting that Turkiye has its own production of a wide range of delicious chocolates and considering that Sri Lanka also has many ingredients for chocolates, including exotic spices, nuts and even cocoa, setting up of a chocolate manufacturing industry could be mutually beneficial.
Embassy of Sri Lanka in Ankara
24 January 2023