President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is also the country’s Finance Minister has declared Sri Lanka’s four main ports, Colombo, Hambantota, Trincomalee and Galle as ‘Free Ports’.
Additionally, the President declared the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, the Katunayake Export Processing Zone and Koggala Export Processing Zone as ‘Bonded Areas’.
The declaration entitles enterprises which are 65 percent foreign-owned and operating through the specified areas to wide tax exemptions including provisions under the Customs Ordinance and Exchange Control Act.
Despite the drawbacks of the anticipated economic recovery in the European Union and the United States not taking place and also the unsettled conditions in the Middle East, there has been a commendable increase in the country’s export earnings in June this year, said Bandula Egodage, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Sri Lanka Export Development Board .
Addressing the 16th annual general meeting of the Exporters’ Association of Sri Lanka as the guest of honour, Egodage said that according to provisional Customs data, Sri Lanka’s export earnings had recorded a commendable increase in June this year and exports to our key markets USA and EU, especially to the USA, had also shown a satisfactory increase in the same month.
FACETS Sri Lanka 2013, the International Gem and Jewellery Show that showcases hundreds of local and foreign exhibitors, will be held from August 29 to September 1 at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre. This year’s exhibition will comprise over 150 booths with a variety of gem and jewellery that include precious and semi-precious gems.
Organized by the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association (SLGJA), FACETS Sri Lanka enables all gem and jewellery traders to display market collections and also help create awareness about the importance of the gem and jewellery industry in Sri Lanka. Additionally, the event will consist a seminar on 'Gem and Jewellery in Sri Lanka' conducted by an expert panel of local and International panelists.
FACETS Sri Lanka 2013 encompasses individual exhibitor pavilions from Myanmar, The National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA) and an SME pavilion from the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) . In addition, buyer delegations from USA, China, Russia and India will also be arriving. Stall holders from Singapore, Dubai, Myanmar and India will be participating at the event.
Sri Lanka's information technology and business process outsourcing sector has tripled exports and doubled the workforce in a little over five years, an industry official said.
The Sri Lanka Association of Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM) say export revenues grew 182 percent to an estimated 600 million US dollars in 2013 from 213 million US dollars in 2007.
Total employment in the industry rose 100 percent to 67,000 in 2013 from 33,000 in 2007, the chamber's newly elected chairman Madu Ratnayake, from Virtusa, an information technology company said.
Morocco has shown keen interest to boost trade and industrial cooperation with Sri Lanka.
“We need to expand our bilateral trade as well as our industrial cooperation. Investors from both countries can also enter into joint ventures in many sectors; we are strong in rubber and fishery -technologies that Sri Lanka can benefit from us considerably,” said Moroccan Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Larbi Reffouch during his recent meeting with Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen at the Export Development Board.
Industrialists should make the maximum use of the many facilities and benefits given to them by the government. "To develop our industry sector, the government has given many facilities to our industries and industrialists should start making maximum use of them. As the facilitators of industry development of Sri Lanka, we thank Dr PB Jayasundara, the Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning for directly meeting our industrialists on 16 July and successfully explaining and updating them on the government policies on industries" said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce on 16 July in Colombo, as quoted in a press communiqués issued by the ministry.
The visit of a Sri Lankan business delegation to South Africa is a joint initiative of the Sri Lanka High Commission in Pretoria and the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) and Tea Board for the participation of Sri Lankan exporters at the SAITEX 2013 International Trade fair held at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand from June 30 to July 2.
Leading Sri Lankan companies - DSI Tyres, Kelani Cables, Rathna Cinnamon Producers and Exporters, Queens Workwear, Nature's Secrets and Lalan Rubber - exhibited at the Sri Lanka pavilion while Basilur Tea Exporters and Sunshine Tea Exporters were at the Tea Board pavilion at the exhibition.
Tunisia, the fifth phosphate producer in the world and a high end, high speed apparel supplier to European fashion world is showing a new opening for Lankan apparel supply chains. And Tunisia is agog over Sri Lanka’s growth rates. “We are almost taken up by your strong GDP growth rates that exceed 6%. I congratulate Sri Lanka for its spectacular growth.
hen you specially compare with the world economic growth rate, it’s such a leading rate” said Tarek Azouz, Ambassador of Tunisia to Sri Lanka on Wednesday (10).
Azouz was addressing Rishad Bathiudeen Minister of Industry & Commerce during his courtesy call on Minister Bathiudeen at EDB premises in Colombo. Also present along with Minister Bathiudeen were Anura Siriwardena Secretary, Ministry of Industry and Commerce and Bandula Egodage Chairman, Export Development Board and officials from the Department of Commerce.
“Today is an important day in Sri Lanka’s exports sector. We are appointing the Advisory Committees of Sri Lanka’s premier national exports organization, the EDB, and also launching the next international mega event in our exports calendar which is the ‘EXPO 2014” said Minister Bathiudeen, and added: “The global markets continue to show changing demand patterns, not only due to the recent global economic crisis but also as a result of long term fundamental changes in overall global consumption and shifting world market patterns. For example, 66% of the world market and population growth in the next century is expected to come from Africa."
Sri Lanka has to build capacity opportunities to be a processed food exporter, taking a cue from developments that occurred in East Asian nations such as Thailand and Vietnam, an Australia-based economist said.
Prema-chandra Athukorale, professor of economics at Australian National University said in Thailand 23 percent of non-oil exports were processed foods and in Vietnam it was 27 percent and in Sri Lanka only 5.0 percent.
He said global food habits were changing and there were opportunities for Asia food exporters.
The Export Development Board (EDB) has identified the potential growth of global Medical Tourism sector and capability of Sri Lankan medical and health tourism providers. EDB has requested assistance of International Trade Center (ITC) to develop this sector.
Accordingly ITC decided to have a case study in Sri Lanka health /medical tourism sector to access the capabilities of Sri Lanka in this sector and to benchmark Sri Lankan capabilities compared to the global Medical Tourism Industry.