The Plastic and Rubber Institute of Sri Lanka CEO Forum recently mooted ideas for improving plastic and rubber industries in Sri Lanka.
While quality adding has been long discussed topic of improvement, it was discussed that branding Sri Lankan rubber will give Sri Lankan rubber a significant boost.
Chairman and CEO of the Export Development Board of Sri Lanka, Bandula Egodage, who attended the event said rubber is one of the chief exports in Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka's rank in the contribution of rubber exported globally is 32% . However, he also said Sri Lanka's solid tyres rank at the first place in exports, which is a clear indication that there is a market for value added goods rather than just the raw form.
Branding is a new concept for Sri Lankan rubber, through a brand Sri Lanka can gain the benefits of credibility, loyalty of buyers, the consumer preference.
Country branding should be what the rubber industry is looking for, he said.
Sri Lanka has many rubber products of different brands, according to Egodage these superior brands should be linked to get a better market than the present share.
The government initiatives to develop both plastic and rubber exports were also addressed at the forum. It was agreed upon that the government's initiatives on developing infrastructure and education has greatly helped the plastic and rubber industries but all other industries too.
The forum also discussed the predominant problem of lacking funds for Research and Development in the plastic and rubber sector of Sri Lanka.