Rubber and rubber-based products have long been among the best-known exports from Sri Lanka. Rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) cultivation started in Sri Lanka in 1876 while Sri Lanka, then called Ceylon, was under British hegemony. Natural rubber is composed of long isoprene polymer chains, loosely connected.
A combination of local and global terrorism, political turmoil and natural disaster saw the local, as well as the global economy, slowing down compared to the year 2018. Sri Lanka registered a GDP growth of 2.8% during the last year against 3.3% recorded in 2018, while the global GDP also grew at a subdued rate of 2.5%, mainly due to Chinese and the USA trade tension and low growth recorded in the EU and Japan.
The future of the island’s rubber industry largely depends on how it focuses on introducing technology to develop yield, observes Dr Sisira Ranatunga, Secretary, Sri Lanka Association of Manufacturers and Exporters of Rubber Products (SLAMERP)