AsiaNews | Tuesday 25, September | Colombo | CCC Press Release | by Claude Gunasekera: 15th Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka – Russia Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will be held on Thursday 27, at the Russian Cultural Centre, Colombo. Members of the Council along with the top officials of the Russian Embassy will meet up at this event.  The mission of the council is to promote business between both countries.

Sri Lanka has been among the leading buyers of asbestos in the world. The four leading asbestos importers in the world were India, Indonesia, China and Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka absorbed 6% of global asbestos imports in recent years.

Sri Lanka’s total trade (both imports and exports) with the Russian Federation which was at US $ 435.83 Million in 2015 declined to $ 381.71 Million in 2016. Records indicates a further declining figure while efforts are been taken by the council to expand diversified products. Rishard Bathiudeen Sri Lanka Minister of Industry & Commerce emphasized that Gem and Jewellery export are attractive to Russian market and lankan exporters are eager to explore this potential.

In 2015 Russia was the topmost buyer of Ceylon Tea at $156.65 Million, and the second leading buyer was Turkey. However, in 2016, Russia became the second largest buyer of all types of Ceylon Teas (including green tea made in Sri Lanka) at $ 143 Million while the leading buyer in 2016 was Iran, at $ 154.10 Million.

According to the Department of Commerce, nearly 74% of Sri Lanka’s exports to Russia in 2016 was Ceylon Tea at a value of US $ 143 Million while total exports to Russia in the same year was $ 182 Million. Over the years, total tea exports to Russia has shown a declining trend.

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