Sri Lanka has a favourable ‘per container cost to export’ rate of only $ 595. After reporting $1.07 Bn record exports in March, the country is now mulling a new high tech initiative to help exporters to lower this rate for added competitive advantage-while eager Lankan exporters are already testing to avail themselves to a portion of $60Bn global savings from Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).
SMEs claim 70% of Sri Lankan enterprises and 23% of national employment. Our banking sector still looks the other way when it comes to our SMEs as they are worried about recovering credit from SMEs. This is despite our Central Bank’s efforts to keep lending rates at low levels. I urge our banking sector to link with Sri Lanka’s SMEs much closer and become a direct stakeholder in our national development. Do not avoid this risk. It is in such risks that great rewards and profits are found said Minister Bathiudeen and added: “In this background, I highly commend, the recent announcement by International Finance Corporation (IFC) office in Colombo to assist our SMEs with their valuable funding of $ 125 million.
Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the inauguration event of SMIDEX held recently by the Industrial Development Board under Ministry of Traditional Industries & Small Enterprises at BMICH, Colombo. According to the IDB, SMIDEX has been introduced by the IDB to mark its 45th year anniversary. SMIDEX is yet another national event showcasing the SMEs with special attention to technology, machinery, raw materials, business development and other services.
Hon. Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce will attend the Tunisia Investment Forum (TIF) 2014 along with a Sri Lankan business delegation on June 12 and 13 at El Mouradi Gammarth Hotel, Tunis. The forum takes place just six months after Tunisia’s adoption of a new constitution.
Under the theme, ‘New Tunisia: New Democracy, New Opportunities,’ TIF 2014 will showcase the impact of democratic progress on the country’s economic and social environment. The forum is expected to present a more transparent and conducive investment destination to the international business community, highlighting investment prospects and growth generating projects, a news release issued in connection with the forum said.
As Sri Lanka’s trade with the virgin Eurasian market Belarus clocked $ 14 Mn, the gateway to the 170 Mn strong custom union wants to renew trade and business immediately -as early as in July.
“With your assistance, we want to prepare fruitful projects with Sri Lanka. We propose a Joint Economic Commission with Sri Lanka as early as July 2014 to be held in Colombo, if possible. We also can formulate the first Belarus Business delegation to Colombo during this event as per your interest” said a keen Vitaly Prima (the New Delhi based Ambassador of Belarus to Sri Lanka) on 22 May in Colombo.
Sri Lanka’s Ayurveda healthcare is garnering the attention of high end tourist market. “Lately, the Japanese travel sector has shown stronger interest in Sri Lanka’s Ayurveda tourism. Last week a Japanese Member of Parliament touring Sri Lanka also has expressed of Japan’s interest in Sri Lanka’s Ayurvedic care for Japanese medical tourists” revealed an upbeat Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce) on 16 May.
Algeria is inviting Sri Lankan businesses to export tea, fruit and vegetable juices and many other products to that country, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce announced.
This invitation was made by Echarif Mohammed-Hacene, Ambassador for Algeria in Sri Lanka and India, when he visited the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, accompanied by Consul General for Algeria in Sri Lanka, Mukthar Marikkar.
He held a meeting with CEO/Secretary General of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Harin Malwatte, while Lilakshi De Mel, Senior Assistant Secretary General of the Chamber, was also present. During the meeting, the ambassador said, Sri Lanka can exports items such as, tea, fruits and vegetable juices, textiles, garments specially semi-finished traditional garments for women and spices.
Ambassador Echarif says, the Algerian consumers prefer to drink blended tea with mint and sugar and also would like to purchase tea in consumer bags.
Sri Lanka's first quarter exports registered a positive growth of 16%, while monthly exports for March jumped by as much as 27%.
"This is encouraging for our efforts towards $ 20 bn export goal by 2020 as envisioned by President Mahinda Rajapaksa," said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce on May 9 in Colombo.
Accordingly, this year's first quarter provisional exports totalled $ 2.80 bn while the comparative 2013 first quarter total exports stood at $ 2.36 bn, showing a 15.7% Q-on-Q growth.
As Lanka's exports to Japan topped $ 223 Mn mark, Sri Lanka is mulling a strategic, fast-track entry to one of the most coveted online markets in the world-Japan. "Japan is the second biggest retail market in the world. Japanese are also heavy internet users with a large e-commerce base. Using a top Japanese online giant like Rakuten could give Lankan exporters a wide-coverage and a low cost entry to this promising market" said Sujatha Weerakoone (DG-EDB) on 02 May at EDB premises.
DG Weerakoone was addressing the EDB organized event "Japan's Rakuten Platform for Sri Lankan Products" held for Lankan exporters on 02 May at EDB. The session consisted of a special in-depth presentation by Japan's Kanagawa based Takashi Yoshino (Principal, Y and F Associates LLC) who, in a his presentation, shoed in-depth of the pros and cons, and how to create an online strategy for Lankan exporters to Japan. Eager representatives from more than 40 Lankan export firms were present at the session.
Sri Lanka Export Development Board in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Embassy in Belgium organized the Sri Lanka’s participation at 22nd Annual European Seafood Exposition held in Belgium from May 6-8. Over 1,690 exhibiting companies attracted more than 25,800 buyers and suppliers for the event.
This year’s exposition marks the 22nd edition of Seafood Expo Global, and the 16th edition of Seafood Processing Global. The exposition is considered a unique opportunity for the global seafood industry to come together and make valuable business connections.
As trade between Sri Lanka and its top global partner EU edged to $ 5 Bn mark, Sri Lanka for the first time revealed its levels of attention to the EU trade dynamics on 07 May. And Europe has commended Sri Lanka's exports value addition efforts as "remarkable."
“Sri Lanka closely monitors the developments in the EU trade policy as it could have significant impact on Sri Lanka’s exports, both directly and indirectly. For example, the recent cross cumulation facility provided for SAARC and ASEAN Regional Groups, would help Sri Lanka to source inputs of ASEAN countries, and be eligible for GSP concessions” said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka on 07 May.
Sri Lanka’s earnings from exports of textiles and garments grew by 6.6 percent to US$ 396.2 million in February 2014, compared to earnings of $371.6 million recorded in same month last year, according to a press release on ‘External Sector Performance – February 2014’ issued by the Economics Research Department of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
The statement reflected two key trends in Sri Lanka’s textile and garment trade—an increase in apparel exports to non-traditional markets and a higher local value addition in the clothing industry.
The only country in the world to be entirely surrounded by another country and also called as Africa’s Switzerland, signaled on 25 April for the first time that it is now ready to initiate multi-faceted bilateral ties with Sri Lanka. “We can begin our bilateral trade with Ceylon Tea exports to Lesotho. Then we can proceed to agriculture cooperation” said an upbeat Bothata Tsikoane, the New Delhi based High Commissioner of Lesotho for Sri Lanka on 25 April in Colombo.
Bothata Tsikoane was addressing Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka) on 25 April at EDB in Colombo during his first courtesy call made on Minister Bathiudeen.
The external sector further strengthened in February 2014 with the trade deficit continuing to narrow as a result of an increase in earnings from exports and a decline in expenditure on imports.
Inflows on account of workers' remittances and earnings from tourism recorded an increase during the month contributing to the substantial reduction in the current account deficit. These developments together with continued inflows to the financial account resulted in a surplus in the Balance of Payments (BOP) upto February 2014, the Central Bank said yesterday.
The only country in the world to be surrounded by another country and also described as Africa’s Switzerland, is now to initiate multi-faceted bilateral ties with Sri Lanka.
“We can begin our bilateral trade with Ceylon Tea exports to Lesotho. Then we can proceed to agriculture cooperation” said an upbeat Bothata Tsikoane, the New Delhi based High Commissioner of Lesotho for Sri Lanka.
The Lesotho envoy made these observations while meeting Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka on 25 April at the Export Development Board offices in Colombo during his first courtesy call made on Minister Bathiudeen.
Sri Lanka's exports rose 5.4 percent in February 2014 from a year earlier, with apparel exports up 6.6 percent, while imports fell amid weak credit growth, official data showed.
In the first two months of the year exports were up 13.9 percent to 1,739 million US dollars, the Central Bank said. Agricultural exports rose 15.3 percent to 201.2 million US dollars with tea up 11.7 percent to 115.6 million US dollars.
The Fadna Cinnamon Tea, produced and distributed by Food and Nature Company was recently awarded the Pure Ceylon Cinnamon Quality certificate by Sri Lanka Export Development Board. This certification which is awarded only for highest quality export products is granted on the recommendation of a committee of experts appoined by the SLEDB. Here Minister of Industries and Commerce Rishard Bathiudeen awards the certificate to the Marketing Manager of the Food and Nature Company, Udara Mangala at a ceremony at the SLEDB