Foreign Missions’ Role in Promoting International Trade: Empirical Evidence of Sri Lankan Foreign Missions Promoting Electronic Exports in Germany

  •  R. T. Vidyaratne    
  •  E.A.G. Sumanasiri    


Foreign missions have been the pillars of trade promotion and in particular, of export and export-oriented investment. In Sri Lanka, the potentiality in export promotion to Germany is immense. However, it is discernible that there is no coordinated effort in promoting trade in Sri Lanka by foreign missions. Therefore, this research examines the role of foreign missions in promoting international trade between Sri Lanka and Germany especially focusing on Electrical and Electronic Sector. The case study is based on the empirical evidence of Sri Lankan foreign missions promoting electrical and electronic exports in Germany. Potential growth-enhancing factors will benefit from increased global economic integration through trade promotion activities undertaken by the host country and the foreign mission. A qualitative methodology was used to understand the stakeholder perspective of the role of foreign missions. Analysis of data collected through semi-structured interviews (13) derived the results that trade fairs and Business to Business meetings as the most effective trade promotion activities. Findings of the study confirms six (6) vital roles of a foreign mission which are internalizing industries, promoting, business intelligence, stakeholder communication, building strategic relationships and inter-governmental engagement respectively. The paper points out managerial and policy implications such as pro-activeness of the head of foreign missions and strategic and trustworthy relationships between the countries. The study concludes that the activities carried out by the Sri Lankan Foreign Mission in Germany does not satisfy the exporters’ expectations and requirements. Further this study recommendations are provided to both German and Sri Lankan Governments and foreign missions.

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