The notable feature of our exports during the last few years was the decline in exports, an ominous signal to the economy. The reason behind this decrease was the local and foreign market factors such as high cost of production, lack of strategic strength, non-preference by Western countries and economic crises in the occidental world.
Major products manufactured in Sri Lanka which took take the precedent role in its contribution to the export trade also shown decline trend. Under this situation, the export of fresh and marine water ornamental fish have significantly maintained export strength except 2012 and now showing nearly 20% increase of its export in 2013 up to August compare to the previous year.
I thank the Exporters' Association of Sri Lanka for inviting me to the AGM and giving me the opportunity to address this distinguished gathering of members.
The Exporters Association which represents about 80% of exporters in the country is the foremost body for exporters in Sri Lanka. We highly appreciate the contribution of Association towards the export development effort of the country.
The Government's vision as envisaged in the 'Mahinda Chintana' is to transform Sri Lanka into a strategically important economic centre of the world. This would then lead to socio economic development of the country. The export sector which contributes 17% to the GDP of the country, clearly plays an important role in achieving this objective
The Sri Lankan rubber products manufacturing industry is composed of about 4,530 manufacturing organizations of small, medium and large-scale entities.
Nearly 70-80 percent of the local rubber production is used by these domestic industries. Sabaragamuwa and Western provinces record 87 percent of the total number of rubber industries in the country.
All large and small-scale industries and 80 percent of medium-scale rubber industries can provide employment for trained personnel in rubber technology. Within a relatively short period, this industry has become a reputable major world supplier of quality rubber products.
The total rubber production (raw rubber and value-added) generated over 1.1 billion US dollars in terms of revenue and value-added rubber accounted for 80 percent of total rubber exports.
Sri Lanka's total quantity of tea exported including re-exports with imported tea for July reached to 29.88 million /kg, indicating a gain of 3.34 million/kg compared to the corresponding period in 2012.
The cumulative tea export earnings rose to Rs 17.76 billion, showing a slight gain of Rs 2.77 billion as against the same period last year with the increase in FOB (Free on Board) price per kg from Rs 564.92 to Rs.594.50, according to a tea market report.
Cumulative exports including re-exports with imported Tea for the period January to July 2013 recorded 174.25 million /kg, a decline of 7.82 million /kg in comparison to same period last year.
As the first ever textile agreement between India and Sri Lanka became a reality, both neighbours mulled joining to enter a coveted global textile foothold-China, the world’s largest textile market. “China’s textiles are gradually moving from production to consumption. Using our strengths together-Sri Lanka’s first class garment manufacturing infrastructure and India’s quality fabric outputs-let us jointly compete for China’s textile market” said a determined Ms Zohra Chaterji (Secretary of Indian Ministry of Textiles) on 09 September in Colombo.
Ms Chaterji was addressing Anura Siriwardena (Secretary, Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka) on 09 September at Cinnamon Grand during her delegation’s official meeting with Sri Lanka’s delegation after the signing the first ever MoU between India and Sri Lanka on the same day at Galadari Hotel, Colombo earlier. During the successful Cinnamon Grand meeting, officials from both sides discussed in depth, of the modalities of the morning MoU and how to move forward and implement it in the coming months and agreed on the immediate next steps.
Sri Lanka, the first ever country in Asia has been offered the “Partner Country” status at the 82nd Izmir International Fair, the oldest Trade Exhibition in Turkey. Sri Lanka’s participation promoted Sri Lanka as a reliable destination for trade investment & tourism and showcased the best that the island paradise has to offer, under the theme “Sri Lanka -Wonder of Asia”. This theme is in line with the Mahinda Chinthanaya, vision of the President of Sri Lanka who has given the leadership to initiate a grand scheme of progress and development in the country.
egombo – A radical new, locally built high-speed catamaran fishing boat is poised to significantly boost the number of top-price tuna available for export from Sri Lanka to markets in Japan, China and the Middle East.
It will also help ensure tuna sustainability in Sri Lankan waters by reducing by up 70 per cent the number of fish needed to be caught in order to ensure maximum profitability.
Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development has expressed keen interest in the new vessel, which will help put the country at the forefront of next-generation fishing-boat development.
Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna peninsula, which has emerged from a 30-year civil war, has untapped potential for greater investment and trade officials said.
"We welcome all the new businesses and investments," K Pooranachandran, president of the Jaffna chamber of commerce and industry said.
"We are here to help them. The place is very conducive for businesses and new developments."
The Jaffna peninsula, which has a population of about 600,000 population, is now looking up businesses in the area linking with other areas in the island.
"Trade links have developed strongly," Pooranachandran said. "There is a very good link with Colombo and Jaffna.
Over 50 Small and Medium Eenterprises (SMESs) will take part in FACETS Sri Lanka 2013, the international gem and jewelry exhibition, according to the organizing committee. Organized by the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewelery Association (SLGJA), this year’s event held for its 23rd year, will be held from August 29 to September 1 at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Center.
FACETS 2013 not only provides ample opportunity for local businesses to showcase their capabilities to participating delegation from around the world, but also creates strong networking, knowledge sharing and skill enhancing opportunities for the SME sector enterprises. Local manufacturers will be able to acquire knowledge on technology, process, best practices and the importance of maintaining industry quality standards right throughout the event.
Fresh fruit and vegetable exports recorded a 21.8% growth in the first six months of this year, said International Foodstuff Group of Companies, Chairman and a member of the Advisory Committee of the Export Development Board, Sarath de Silva.
He said that the fresh fruit and vegetable sector recorded this growth despite a slump in exports of other commodities. Export revenue has been declining since last year with a revenue drop of 6.8 percent in April this year according to the Central Bank. Export decline has been attributed to the low global demand for commodities.
The Sri Lanka – France Business Council (SLFBC) which functions under the aegis of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce held its 9th Annual General Meeting at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce recently. The Council was inaugurated on February 4, 2004 with a primary objective of promoting trade, investment, tourism and services between Sri Lanka and France and to promote mutual understanding and strengthen the relationships between Sri Lanka and France.
Christine Robichon, Ambassador of France and Patron of SLFBC graced the occasion as the chief guest. Congratulating the newly appointed Committee she underlined that activities such as visit to France early this year demonstrated the usefulness of exchanging business delegations both ways. It was also mentioned that the partnership between the Embassy and Business Council went deeper with the successfully organised Symposium on Urban Development recently and the Embassy will continue to closely work with the Council in the future.
The country’s exports earnings for June recorded commendable growth. However, it is necessary to have the right balance between commodity and cost.
According to provisional Customs data, Sri Lanka is heading in the right direction despite challenges. Exports to our key markets the USA and EU, especially to USA have shown a satisfactory increase in June 2013, Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman and Chief Executive, Bandula Egodage told Sunday Observer Business. The problems in our key markets indicate that we should focus on diversifying our markets to other regions. The Asian region comprising China and India has registered substantial economic growth, he said.
New regulations were tabled in Parliament yesterday to standardize and improve the quality of the centuries old cinnamon industry in Sri Lanka by shifting the focus from popular export crops – tea, coconut, and rubber – to the value added cinnamon in the international market.
These regulations published in the Gazette Extraordinary 1813/15, prohibits the export of crushed or ground cinnamon, cinnamon organic, cinnamon quills cut, cinnamon in retail packs of 1kg or less, cinnamon featherings, and cinnamon chips, or cinnamon in any other form being exported without the SLS81:2010 certification specified for Ceylon cinnamon.
The country’s gem and jewellery industry continues its growth momentum with increased export revenue for the first six months of 2013.“We could observe a steady growth in export revenue generation. The growth momentum in the sector augurs well for related industries where its contribution to the national economy becoming more significant,” said Chairman and CEO National Gem and Jewellery Authority, Amitha Gamage.
“We are confident that if this growth momentum continues the gem, jewellery and diamond sector will reach $ one billion by 2016, he said.
Sri Lanka’s gem, diamond and jewellery export sector has recorded an overall growth of more than 50 percent as at end of 2012. Revenue has increased significantly in comparison to the corresponding year’s figure of Rs.24,459 million in 2011.Therefore, Sri Lanka could be promoted as a gem and jewellery hub in the region, a senior official said.
The export of gemstones brought in revenue of Rs 1,635 million recording a 39 percent growth while jewellery exports generated revenue of Rs 301 million showing an impressive 121 percent growth. The service cutting industry showed signs of recovery by recording an Rs 26 million income with a 50 percent growth.
The new Board of Directors was appointed to the Sri Lanka Export Development Board on 27th June. Here Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen (fourth from right) and Secretary Anura Siriwardena (third from right) with the new appointees: From left: Rohantha Athukorala, Dr. Chameera C. Yapa Abeywardene, Nawaz Rajabdeen, Bandula Egodage (Chairman), Dr. Yousuf Maraikkar (Executive Director) and Sharass M. Zuaib.
The total value of trade volume between Sri Lanka and Pakistan could be increased to US$ one billion soon with the free trade agreement between both countries in place. At present total value of trade volume was US$ 460 million, Pakistan High Commissioner Maj Gen Qasim Qureshi said.
“The Pakistani new government has given concrete instructions for the forward march of foreign policy and is now crafting a strategy to engage in economic diplomacy with Sri Lanka to increase trade,” High Commissioner Qurshi said at a media conference to announce the 8th Expo 2013 in Pakistan. The event was to be held from of September 26 to 29 in Karachi.
Sri Lanka has sought increased market access from India for Sri Lankan exports as a solution to balance the growing trade deficit with India.
Sri Lanka made this request during a discussion with an Indian delegation arrived in the country to discuss trade and investment.
Indian delegation led by S.R. Rao Commerce Secretary, Government of India arrived in Sri Lanka to discuss trade and investment matters with a Sri Lankan delegation led by Dr. P.B. Jayasundera Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning and Secretary, Ministry of Economic Development.
Sri Lanka’s apparel industry is to get a big boost as the world’s largest textile producer, China is exploring possibilities of opening its huge domestic market to the island’s garment exports, an industry heavyweight said.
Secretary General of the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) M.P. Tuly Cooray told the Business Times that their umbrella body is to enter into an agreement with the China National Garment Association to allow access for Sri Lankan apparel industrialists to penetrate the Chinese domestic market and also set up joint ventures to produce internationally branded products for overseas markets.
A high-powered, 20-member delegation from the Chinese association visited Sri Lanka recently and held preliminary discussions towards signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) enabling Chinese apparel makers and top global retailers to shift their orders to Sri Lanka due to the rising labour cost in that country, he revealed. He noted that they aim to get duty free access for apparel from