“Opportunities for both countries in tourism, garments, electronics and semiconductors, and infrastructure are worth exploring,” said Varela.
He noted that the Philippines is a destination for trade and investments in the region on the back of its robust economic growth rate, ease of doing business competitiveness and impressive investment grade ratings.
“The Philippines, from inside and out, embody a positive brand of economic growth and development in the region,” he said.
Varela believes that the linkage through business councils will be important conduits to facilitate important meetings, discussions and fora to create a groundswell for the two countries’ business communities.
In 2008, the PCCI signed a memorandum of understanding with the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) aimed at improving tools for further economic partnership between the Philippines and Sri Lanka.
For his part, Sri Lankan Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris identified his country’s priority sectors, including export-oriented manufacturing and services, and import substitution like textile and accessories, dairy and milk foods, pharmaceuticals and agricultural products.
Peiris said their priority projects are tourism and tourism-related projects, infrastructure projects, higher education/skill development, value-added strategic projects, agriculture and establishment of industrial estates, special economic zones and knowledge cities.