Sri Lanka's exports surged 23.3 percent to 728.7 million US dollars in January 2014, and the trade gap narrowed 5.9 percent to 755.9 million US dollars amid low credit growth, official data showed.
Industrial exports rose 23.6 percent to 691.6 million US dollars with apparel also up 23.4 percent to 412.0 million US dollars, the Central Bank said. Agricultural products grew 14.9 percent to 116.1 million US dollars, with higher prices also coming for tea. The Central Bank said the average export price of tea had risen to 5.31 US dollars per kilogram in January 2014 from 4.58 dollar a year earlier.
Rubber product exports were up 16.6 percent to 73 million US dollars. Petroleum export revenues from bunkers and aviation fuel had fallen 18.4 percent to 33 million US dollars despite a 10.6 percent rise in volume, due to falling prices.
It was deeply saddened to hear the demise of Mr. Victor Santiapillai , the first Chairman of EDB early this month. Nation has lost a great personality who rendered an outstanding performance of duty for development of our Motherland. Mr. Santiapillai was recognized by international business community in high esteem.
Mr. Santiapillai after his preliminary education entered the University of Ceylon for higher studies. Later he joined Sri Lanka Civil Service. He was involved in bi-literal and multi-lateral trade development during his long career representing Sri Lanka at various forums etc. All his life dedicated for the trade development of Sri Lanka. His experience on commercial policy, trade and commodity agreements, market research and trade promotion comprehensively helped economic development of the nation.
The Plastics and Rubber Industry in Sri Lanka (PRISL), the apex organization focused on the training and development of manpower needed to the emerging requirements of the plastics and rubber based industries in Sri Lanka, has successfully accomplished three significant events
PRISL achieved a significant milestone in its history of 55 years when it launched a training programme on the practical aspects of rubber processing technology, with the support of Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce.
For the first time, a government to government level cooperation effort is emerging to strengthen the supply of a crucial class of medicines in the $450 Mn Lankan pharma market. Bangladeshi pharma sector, which manufactures no less than 450 generic drugs for 5,300 registered brands, is now ready to partner with Sri Lanka to produce vital medicines used by seriously ill patients.
"Our local pharmaceutical manufacturers cater to 97% of the internal demand and they also export. We are ready to support Sri Lanka to produce biosimilar pharmaceuticals such as insulin and finalise them to finish product levels with a guaranteed cold chain. We are ready for government to government level JVs to begin with" said MN Neaz Uddin (Health Secretary, Bangladesh) on March 20 in Colombo.
The Ministry of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development has organised the Kithulaka Varuna Exhibition and Trade Fair from 4 to 6 April 2014 at the premises of the Sudarshi Sinhala Cultural Centre opposite the BMICH.
This is an annual exhibition and trade fair held every year before the Sinhala and Tamil New Year to popularise and promote Kithul products. This exhibition will be opened to the public from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on all three days. Admission is free and it is open for public.
Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa will be the Chief Guest for this program, along with Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Douglas Devananda providing the leadership and strategic guidance to take the kithul sector forward with the support of the Deputy Minister Weerakumara Dissanayake.
Secretary, Ministry of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development V. Sivagnanasothy said that this three day exhibition and trade fair has been organised by the ministry with its implementing agency the Industrial Development Board (IDB) and with the participation of other stakeholders such as the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI), National Engineering Research and Development Centre (NERD), Sri Lanka Standard Institute (SLSI), Department of Export Agriculture, Department of Forests and Export Development Board (EDB)
As bilateral trade soared by a strong 26%, Norway, the gateway market to Scandinavia and the third highest per capita market in the world, called Sri Lanka on 18 March to step forward and grab promising opportunities available with it.
“There are many niche markets for your products and new opportunities are available in Norway. The new Norwegian GSP Plus involves lower middle income countries with populations of less than 75 million. Sri Lanka therefore qualifies as a GSP Plus country. As result, Sri Lanka now receives better market access to Norway,” announced Ambassador of Norway in Colombo Grete Lochem on Tuesday.
Lochem was addressing the EDB-facilitated seminar on the Norway GSP+ scheme at the EDB auditorium, Colombo.
The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Embassy in China will organize a Sri Lanka pavilion at the second China South Asia Exposition to be held at the Kunming International Convention and Exhibition Centre, from June 6 to 10, 2014.
This exposition is sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce of China and the Government of Yunnan province to promote import products from the South Asian region .
Applications are expected from manufacturers and exporters from the categories such as food and beverages (tea, spices and kitchen essentials, processed food products, fish and related fishery products and fresh fruits and vegetables), agri products (cut flowers and foliage, coir and coir products), gems and jewellery, garments and textiles, ceramics and porcelain products, handicrafts (high quality handicrafts, batiks, artificial fashion jewellery), healthcare products (herbal products, personal care products) finally industrial products such as rubber and based products, paints and varnishes, automobile spare parts, bicycle products, electrical products and activated carbon.
Sri Lanka’s Gem and Jewelry Industry is emerging as one of the biggest foreign exchange earning industry for the country. The Gem and Jewellery Authority has implemented many measures to uplift the industry.
These includes holding periodical exhibitions locally and in foreign countries and providing facilities for gem miners and establishing partnerships with other gem exporting countries in the world.
As a result of these activities Myanmar has invited Sri Lanka to establish cooperation in the industry. Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Lakshman Wasantha Perera said that with this new initiative from Myanmar we could establish new industries both local and foreign to enable us to generate huge employment opportunities locally and overseas, in addition to development of Sri Lankan exports.
Bilateral trade needs to be revived first, before moving for such trade mechanisms as FTAs when it comes to trade with the virgin market of Palestinian Territories. "FTA with the Palestinian Territories is a good idea but with non-existent trade at present, it is too early for it" said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen.
Minister Bathiudeen was speaking to Ms Mai Bakry, presenter of "Palestine TV" on March 07 in Colombo when he was interviewed for the channel.
Sri Lanka’s gem mining industry is set to turn a new chapter as Myanmar has invited the country for unprecedented cooperation efforts across many sectors. “I am pleased to say that the follow-up delegation as a result of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to BIMSTEC in Myanmar has reaped great success. I am quite confident that, with this initiative, we could establish new industries both local and foreign, to enable us to generate huge employment opportunities locally and overseas, in addition to development of exports of Sri Lanka,” revealed Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Lakshman Wasantha Perera.
Deputy Minister Perera was speaking in the aftermath of his ministerial meetings with members of the Myanmar Cabinet in Myanmar. Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Lakshman Wasantha Perera led the 15 member strong Sri Lankan delegation to the Myanmar Construction Summit held in the country’s capital city Naypyidaw.
Sujatha Weerakoon (DG-EDB-far left) addresses the audience at EDB facilitated Internationalisation of SMEs session by PUM Netherlands senior experts on March 14. Seated at head table (at centre) is Dutch Tech Transfer Expert Cees Van Dijl.
SMEs are the backbone of our economy and more importantly, they are at the level of exports too! "Of the more than 4000 of Sri Lankan export firms, 75% are SMEs. Therefore we have a huge responsibility to groom them to become large scale export firms" said Sujatha Weerakoon (DG-EDB).
DG-EDB Weerakoon was addressing the EDB facilitated "Internationalisation of SMEs session by PUM Netherlands senior experts" session held at EDB on March 14.
Fujian, China’s emerging high growth province, is eager for more Sri Lankan exports to its demanding marketplace-and a visiting delegation to Colombo pushed for direct links with Lankan businesses on 06 March in Colombo. "Sri Lanka has been rebuilt as the pearl of the Indian Ocean. And I agree with you that both sides can mutually benefit in many sectors of cooperation, including trade. In fact, we want Sri Lanka – Fujian trade to grow in Sri Lanka’s favour" said a keen (HE) Song Kening (Director-General of Fujian Provincial Foreign Affairs) on 06 March in Colombo.
Director-General Kening was addressing the Sri Lankan business team led by Bandula Egodage (Chairman/CEO, EDB) along with Dr Yousuf Maraikkar (ED, EDB), Sujatha Weerakoone (DG, EDB) and EDB sectoral representatives on 06 March at EDB premises, Colombo.
Strengthening bilateral trade cooperation further, China’s powerful official organ in charge of import commodity inspections, has despatched its first expert study team to Sri Lanka, signalling that China is opening for Sri Lanka’s agro-exports.
The official quarantine study team from the powerful official organ in charge of import commodity inspections, Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China (ADSIQ-China) has arrived in Sri Lanka on 05 February and begun work on 06 February, by liaising with the EDB. The three member team is scheduled to return to China on 12 March.
Sri Lanka German trade has hit record heights last year with the total trade turnover exceeding US$ 852 million.
G. L. Gnanatheva, First Secretary (Commercial) Sri Lankan Embassy in Germany said that total trade turnover was in the excess of US $ 771million. In 2012 Sri Lanka exported goods to Germany to the tune of US$ 452 million while German exports to Sri Lanka stood at US$ 319
He said that for the first time trade balance too has narrowed from US$133 million to US$ 83 million.
Ceylon Cinnamon, which is Sri Lanka’s second global brand, has secured its trademark in two more leading markets-with one more country application in the registration process. ”I commend the EDB’s Agro division for their efforts on this initiative” said Bandula Egodage (Chairman/CEO, EDB) on 27 February in Colombo.
Chairman Egodage was addressing the monthly review meeting of EDB last week when he was informed by EDB’s agro division of the latest development on Ceylon Cinnamon.