New Zealand Prime Minister says ties with Lanka have expanded

KeyNew Zealand Prime Minister John Key today urged New Zealand and Sri Lankan businesses to take advantage of the growing commercial opportunities between the two countries.

“Our commercial ties have expanded well beyond the traditional dairy links to opportunities in sectors such as food and beverage, aviation, education, specialised manufacturing and the creative industries,” Key says.

“New Zealand and Sri Lankan companies can and will be doing more and more together, promoting jobs, economic growth and higher incomes in both our countries.”

The Prime Minister was speaking to senior Sri Lankan and New Zealand business leaders in Colombo at an event hosted by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the Sri Lanka-Australia-New Zealand Business Council. Bilateral trade between New Zealand and Sri Lanka stood at NZ$324 million in 2015.

Key said he was pleased to have led a business delegation to Sri Lanka, which had showcased the potential for further commercial ties. He later witnessed the signing of four commercial deals that he said demonstrated how the two countries could help each other achieve their economic goals.

At the event he also highlighted the expertise New Zealand companies had to contribute to the Sri Lankan Government’s ambitions to improve water supply and sanitation, ports and aviation, transport, housing, hospitals and logistics.

“As small island countries, New Zealand and Sri Lanka share the challenge of ensuring our companies are competitive in global markets,” Key says.

“One of the ways we can help businesses succeed is through working more closely with likeminded countries and through promoting free trade to provide better connections with international markets.”

Key also discussed the importance of good public policy to help promote growth. (Colombo Gazette)


  1. Sure New Zealand has gained cheep labor to fill the gaps of low paying jobs traditionally held by Indians and Pakistanis in the past. Sri Lankan bakers who are coming with three week qualifications to work in supermarkets, supermarket check out operators, petrol pump attendant, hotel workers, bell boys. restaurant workers some been paid below the minimum wage that allowed to pay. What this has done is Sri Lankans are now classed as arrivals from third world high risk country making hard for properly qualified Chef’s and other professionals must jump thru hoops to get residency. Some are working in the service industry with poor pay sharing filthy ( one told me before he enter the room he had to spray air freshener because of the stench in side) single room with six others in bunk beds. Law of the country forbids this type of accommodation in NZ but the desperation to make living make Sri Lankans to put up with this fear of losing the job. I personally wanted to take two of them to the Department labor but both refuse to cooperate for fear of losing the job. Thirty five years ago when Sri Lankan new arrival wanted to rent a house they were ask are you from India or Pakistan when they say from Sri Lanka answer was when you want to move in. Now when they say Sri Lanka if they are lucky land lords demand references but majority of the time answer is no.


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