Senior Buyer from SriLankan Airlines Joins Panel Discussion at Fine Food

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Mr Lalith Withana

Mr Lalith Withana, CFO of SriLankan Airlines and GM of SriLankan Catering, will be joining the Food & Beverage Exporters Forum at Fine Food in Melbourne this year, to share the opportunities within this channel and market.

Though little-known to many Australian suppliers, the Sri Lankan market is healthy, and already involved in significant trade with Australia. According to Austrade:

  • Australia’s bi-lateral trade and services relationship with Sri Lanka is valued at A$973 million as of 2016.
  • Australian trade and services exports to Sri Lanka are valued at A$571 million as of 2016.
  • Australia ranks as the 17th largest import source country for Sri Lanka.

Additionally, the economy continues to perform well; GDP Growth Rate in Sri Lanka averaged 5.88 % from 2003 – 2017, reaching an all time high of 16.10 percent in the first quarter of 2012. Inflation was 4.0% in 2016 and prices have risen, largely due to a VAT rate hike and drought-related increases in food prices. The real value of private final consumption rose by 5.4% (2016). Australia’s efforts to focus on premium food and beverage exports to this region have succeeded, with an increasing variety of products in Sri Lankan supermarkets.

Currently holding two senior managerial roles in two Sri Lankan corporations concurrently, Mr Withana is a key contact for those ready to enter a growing market in a largely untapped region. To better understand the opportunities, we encourage you to attend our Food & Beverage Exporters Forum; or reach out to us and we will be happy to help.

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