Sri Lanka

Island of spices

Sri Lanka is famed as an exporter of premium quality spices, above all cinnamon and pepper, but also as a supplier of essential oils and extracts. Oils won from cardamoms, cloves, or the exotic Malabar tamarind, for example, are used in the manufacture of cosmetic and wellness products.

The lusciously verdant island in the Indian Ocean is also a source of nuts like chashwes as well as of dried exotic fruits such as jackfruit, papaya, and mango.

The most important plant in Sri Lanka, however, is the coconut. Annually, around 2.5 million tons of coconuts are harvested and 44,000 tons of coconut oil produced from a crop acreage of approximately 400,000 hectares. Producers in Sri Lanka are increasingly focussing their attention on the demands of the EU market, offering virgin coconut oil and coconut blossom sugar in organic quality. But Sri Lanka is also home to the sovereign among coconuts: the king coconut, a source of especially nutritious coconut water.

In 2018, as part of the country’s development agenda, the Sri Lankan government adopted a new concept for promoting export business in the shape of its National Export Strategy (NES). The island’s ecological agricultural production is largely geared towards exports. The agricultural sector is a key driver of sustainable economic development and a creator of jobs.
The European Union has granted concessions to Sri Lanka, cutting import duties on processed agricultural goods as part of its Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP+). This arrangement supports developing countries in the process of tapping further potential on the EU market and increasing sales there.

The IPD currently identifies reliable trade partners in Ghana whose products meet the quality criteria of the EU market.


Natural ingredients for foods, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals:

  • Spices such as cinnamon, pepper, cardamom, curry leaves, vanilla, nutmeg, and mace etc.
  • Essential oils and extracts, e.g. cinnamon, ginger, cloves, centella asiatica, garcinia cambogia
  • Diverse coconut products such as virgin coconut oil, coconut blossom sugar, coconut butter, king coconut (Thembili), etc.
  • Nuts such as cashew
  • Dried fruits such as pineapple, jackfruit, mango, papaya etc.
  • Tea, green and black varieties

Get in touch with us. We connect you to the right exporters. 

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Trade fair in Paris // 03.12. - 05.12.2019
Trade fair in Paris // 03.12. - 05.12.2019

Food Ingredients Europe 2019

Benefit from FiE to make new business contacts.
Meet reliable suppliers.
Find out about innovative ingredients. 

At Europe's most important trade fair for natural ingredients, IPD will once again be presenting specialities from selected partner countries, including Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Ukraine, Pakistan, South Africa and Egypt.

Our exporters will bring a wide range of high-quality products to the trade fair. We will provide you with direct contact to these carefully selected suppliers.
All exporters have been visited and evaluated carefully by IPD. Criteria such as product quality, export capability and capacity as well as compliance with international standards and certifications have been considered.

We connect you with reliable suppliers.
Take advantage of the FiE fair for individual meetings.
Detailed information on the exporters and their products will be available here in October.

For further informationen please contact:

Kathrin Seelige


Bonn/Berlin // 04.10.2018

SIAL 2018: Product diversity from Ethiopia

Import Promotion Desk presents specialities from emerging markets and developing countries at the international food exhibition

Bonn/Berlin (Germany), 4 October 2018 – With “Worldwide Sourcing for Europe” as its motto, the Import Promotion Desk (IPD) together with the “Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries” (CBI), an import promotion programme from the Netherlands, will present regional producers from emerging markets and developing countries at SIAL. The exhibition, the leading food exhibition, will take place from 21 to 25 October 2018 in Paris.
26 exporters from Egypt, Ethiopia, Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Peru, Tunisia, and Mozambique will offer a wide product range of regional specialities. A special focus at the IPD exhibition stand will be on the IPD partner nation Ethiopia: teff and spices, beans and pulses, seeds and oilseed – the Ethiopian companies demonstrate the product diversity of this African country.

Bonn // 25.07.2018

IPD intensifies activities for sustainable economic development

German import promotion initiative is now active in 13 countries and 5 sectors

Bonn/Berlin, 25.07.2018 – Since 2012, the Import Promotion Desk (IPD) has assisted small-to-medium-sized enterprises in selected developing and emerging counties to ac-cess the European market. In its third project phase, the IPD expands activities to 13 partner countries and five sectors. The IPD supports export companies on the so-called "last mile"– it accompanies producers to the European market, arranges contacts with importers, thereby closing a strategic gap at the interface of development cooperation and foreign trade.

Facts & Figures

Basic Data

Official Name:Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (śrī laṁkā prajātāntarika samājavādī janarajaya)
Government  type:Republic
Head of state:Maithripala Sirisena
Commercial languages:Singhalesisch, Tamilisch, Englisch
Time difference:+ 3,5h (CET)
Currency:Sri Lanka Rupee (S.L.Re.)
1 rupee = 100 cents
Prefix number:+94
Area:65.610 km²
Population:21,4 million (2017, estimation)
Capital:De jure: Sri Jayawardenepura
De facto: Colombo
Largest cities and agglomerations:Colombo (561.3 thousand), Kaduwela (1.9 million)
Most important exhibition centres:Colombo
Largest airports:Bandaranaike International Airport, Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport
Ports:Port Galle

Economic Data

GDP2016: 80,5 billion US$
2017: 83,6 billion US$ (estimate) 
2018: 87,2 billion US$ (forecast)
GDP per capita

2016: 3,789 US$ (estimate)
2017: 3,906 US$ (estimate) 
2018: 4,049 US$ (forecast)

Economic growth2016: 4,4 % 
2017: 4,7 % (estimate) 
2018: 4,8 % (forecast)
Inflation rate2016: 4,0 % 
2017: 6,0 % (estimate) 
2018: 5,0 % (forecast)
Exchange rate1 US$ = 155,4 S.L.Re.
1 Euro = 181,93 S.L.Re.
(effective: October 2017)
Membership in regional OrganizationsADB, BIMSTEC, SAARC, IMF
Most important industriesMining, industry, transport, logistics, communication, trade, restaurants, hotels, agriculture, forestry, fishing, construction

Trade Data


Volumes2014: 11,3 billion US$
2015: 10,4 billion US$
2016: 10,5 billion US$
Most important trade partnersUSA, UK, India, Germany, Italy, Belgium, UAE
Products und merchandise groupTextiles/clothing, food, caoutchouc products, raw materials, non-metallic minerals


Volumes2014: 19,2 billion US$ 
2015: 19,0 billion US$
2016: 19,5 billion US$
Most important trade partnersChina, India, UAE, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, USA
Products und merchandise groupTextiles/clothing, food, machinery, petrochemicals, automotive and automotive parts
Data source: iXPOS, Federal Foreign Office, AUMA, Germany Trade & Invest – All information is supplied without guarantee.


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