The International Trade Centre (ITC) hosted a business-to-business matchmaking event between seven Sri Lankan Information Technology (IT) services and outsourcing companies and 15 Finnish companies, where over 60 virtual meetings were conducted with a focus on IT services outsourcing to Sri Lanka. The event took place through a virtual platform, within the framework of the EU-Sri Lanka Trade-Related Assistance project funded by the European Union (EU) with ITC as the lead implementing agency.
The participating Sri Lankan SMEs were beneficiaries of capacity building interventions conducted by ITC, as part of the EU-Sri Lanka project, and were selected based on various factors including match to market, export experience and growth strategy.
During the meetings, the local companies extended a wide range of services to the Finnish companies, with a special focus on innovative solutions in areas such as mobile and web applications, web design, web development, and customized software development. The participating Finnish companies had a multispectral coverage.
Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka H.E. Denis Chaibi said “Traditional modes of B2B matchmaking are evolving globally and COVID-19 has called on businesses everywhere to adapt to ensure their survival and growth. More than any other sector, the IT industry is well-equipped to go online during this crisis in an effort to expand its customer base in Finland which has a growing IT industry. I’m pleased that European Union partners in Sri Lanka, such as ITC, have ensured that their work improves the capacities of their project partners to face and overcome the economic and social costs of the pandemic”.
Also speaking about the initiative Salindra Gulawita, Managing Director of Sri Lankan IT company Allion Technologies (Pvt) Ltd. said, “This is the second mission in which we participated with the support of the EU and ITC and both had very good outcomes including the recently concluded Finland mission. This is a great opportunity for Sri Lankan companies to present themselves directly in a structured manner with required coaching by ITC, for potential clients from Finland and the Scandinavian region.”
Sri Lanka is an emerging global outsourcing destination, bolstered by many critical indicators such as a good Information & Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure, cost competitiveness, skilled labour, an enabling regulatory framework and one of the most rigorous Intellectual Property (IP) protection regimes in the South Asian region. It is featured prominently in industry rankings such as the A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index and Gartner’s 30 Leading Locations for Offshore Services. Christened “Knowledge Industry”, Sri Lanka’s IT sector is an epitome of innovative excellence under the “Island of Ingenuity” brand.
ITC had been supporting companies to consolidate their EU and regional market presence through training and coaching on Export Marketing Planning, international sales and negotiations training and compliance of General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), and business networking events. ITC has also worked with its partner the Centre for Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI) to enable the companies to understand the implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic on their businesses as well as on EU IT market trends.
ITC continues its work to organize and facilitate further business networking meetings in priority European markets in 2020.