For years, Sri Lanka’s exports to Germany have been worth about twice as much as its imports from Germany. Germany is Sri Lanka’s third most important export market. For many years, Germans have also made up a large portion of the foreign tourists visiting Sri Lanka. They numbered nearly 133,000 in 2016.
Sri Lanka has concluded the following agreements with Germany:
- trade agreements (1950, 1955, 1958)
- investment promotion and protection agreement (2000)
- framework agreement on technical cooperation (1973)
- air transport agreements (1973, 1995)
- double taxation agreement (1979).
In 2016, bilateral trade with Sri Lanka was worth 893 million euros, compared with 815 million euros the previous year. During the same period, German imports from Sri Lanka grew by 8.8 percent, to 576 million euros, while German exports to Sri Lanka increased by 11 percent to 317 million euros. Germany’s main imports from Sri Lanka are textiles, rubber and tea, and its main exports to Sri Lanka are machinery, electrical goods, chemical products and motor vehicles. For years, Germany has recorded a trade deficit with Sri Lanka.
Germany has traditionally been one of Sri Lanka’s most important source markets for tourism. Recent years have seen marked increases in the number of German tourists: 46,000 in 2010, 56,000 in 2011, 72,000 in 2012, 85,000 in 2013, 103,000 in 2014, 116,000 in 2015 and 133,000 in 2016.
The 51 German companies that have invested in Sri Lanka since 1978 have created some 12,000 jobs for the local population. German direct investment in Sri Lanka since 2005 totals more than 80 million US dollars (14.5 million US dollars in 2015). Founded in 1999, the Sri Lanka-Germany Business Council, in which businesspeople from both countries are seeking to promote bilateral economic relations, has 110 members. There are plans to open a Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Colombo in 2017.
AHK Sri Lanka is part of the German Chamber Network. With 142 locations in 92 countries around the world, the members of the German Chamber Network (AHKs) offer their experience, connections and services to German and foreign companies.
Link to the webpage of the Federal Foreign Office on the bilateral relations between the two countries