Sri Lanka wants to diversify trade with Turkey

Ankara and Colombo are working to boost and diversify bilateral trade, Sri Lanka’s ambassador in Ankara told Anadolu Agency.

Turkey and Sri Lanka are working to boost bilateral trade and diversify the business sectors between the two countries, Sri Lankan Ambassador to Ankara P.M. Amza said Thursday.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency at the Global Tea Party in Ankara, Amza said Ceylon tea is the main item of trade between Turkey and Sri Lanka.

“The Sri Lankan tea industry dominates the $230 million bilateral trade volume. Sixty-three percent of our total exports to Turkey are tea,” he added.

“This trade volume falls short of our potential. We can send more and also import more.”

He said last year Ankara and Colombo resolved to diversify trade and boost the current trade volume to $500 million by 2022.

The Turkey chapter of the Global Tea Party was organized by the Sri Lankan Embassy in Ankara to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Ceylon tea.

Amza along with Turkish Education Minister Ismet Yilmaz and Deputy Education Minister Orhan Erdem jointly inaugurated the program by lighting a traditional Sri Lankan oil lamp.

Speaking at the ceremony, Yilmaz said Turkey sees Sri Lanka as a friend and would like to develop their relationship.

He added that they were celebrating a success that Sri Lanka achieved through 150 years of tireless efforts.

He said Ceylon tea became a global brand that “means Sri Lanka” and is a solid example of a huge success.

Amza also highlighted the global reputation of Ceylon Tea.

“We plan to introduce different types of Ceylon tea. You know we have eight regions and every region has tea with different characteristics. Different color, different flavor, different aroma, and different test. And we want people to test seven different teas, black teas, in Sri Lanka,” Amza told Anadolu Agency after the event.

He also underlined bilateral ties in business, culture, politics and education, saying that Ankara and Colombo have been experiencing “excellent relations”.