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 ecologicalagricultural 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

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Bonn/Nürnberg // 27.01.2020

BIOFACH 2020: IPD presents coconut specialities from Sri Lanka

IPD supports exhibitors from Sri Lanka and ten more partner countries at Biofach.

Bonn/Berlin, 27.01.2020 – At this year’s Biofach the product variety of the coconut palm is presented by exhibitors from Sri Lanka: They are bringing a variety of coconut specialities such as dried coconut, virgin coconut oil, coconut blossom sugar, coconut butter, coconut flour, coconut milk and coconut water to the world's leading trade fair for organic food, which takes place in Nuremberg from February 12 to 15. Further highlights from Sri Lanka are spices such as Ceylon cinnamon and different varieties of pepper, as well as essential oils. Besides the exhibitors from Sri Lanka, the Import Promotion Desk (IPD) supports exporters from Colombia, Côte d´Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ecuador, Ghana, Indonesia, Kyrgyz-stan, Tunisia and Ukraine. They will be presenting their regional specialities in organic qual-ity at the joint stand of IPD and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) (Booth 3A | 3A-220) as well as at the national pavilions.

Bonn/Berlin // 15.01.2020

Fruit Logistica 2020: Pitahayas, Physalis & Co. - Ecuador convinces with fruity variety

Import Promotion Desk (IPD) supports exporters from Ecuador and seven more partner countries at the international trade fair for fruits and vegetables

Bonn/Berlin, 16.01.2020 – Ecuador is known for its biodiversity and offers a wide range of tropical fruits. The South American country lives up to its reputation at this year's Fruit Logistica, which takes place in Berlin from 5. to 7. of February. With bananas, pineapples, pitahayas, physalis and passionfruit, the exhibitors present a richly filled fruit basket (Hall
21 Booth B‐06). Import Promotion Desk (IPD), the German initiative for import promotion, has been supporting the partner country of this year's Fruit Logistica for two years now, and
accompanies producers to the European market. This year the IPD brings six companies from Ecuador to the international trade fair. In total, over 40 companies from eight IPD partner countries ‐ from Egypt, Ethiopia, Ecuador, Côte d`Ivoire, Ghana, Colombia, Peru and the Ukraine ‐ will present their range of fresh fruits and vegetables in Berlin.

Paris/Bonn 12.11.2019

Food Ingredients Europe 2019: natural ingredients from Sri Lanka and Ecuador

Import Promotion Desk brings natural ingredients from developing and emerging countries to this year´s Food Ingredients Europe (FIE)

Bonn/Berlin, 12.11.2019 – High-quality extracts and exceptional vegetable and fruit pow-ders will be presented by exhibitors from Sri Lanka and Ecuador at this year’s Food Ingredients Europe (FIE), the international trade fair for food ingredients, which takes place from 3 to 5 December in Paris. Due to the high quality of the raw materials and the gentle manufacturing processes, the products retain their high content of nutrients and active components. The Import Promotion Desk (IPD) supports producers from Sir Lanka, Ecuador and other partner countries in presenting their great product diversity and special product quality to international buyers.

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.

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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