Several top Lankan manufacturing firms have been enlisted in the first ever industrial energy initiative as announced on 25 September. As a result of the success, a second manufacturing energy initiative is now being mulled. And, Ceylon Electricity Board is slowly ‘getting off’ from expensive oil powered generation!
Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka Rishad Bathiudeen (third from left) inaugurates 12th POWER Sri Lanka 2014 International Expo at Sri Lanka Exhibition and Conventions Centre, Colombo joined by (from left): CEMS Sri Lanka CEO Sarwar, Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau Chairman Nihal Rupasinghe, CEMS Global Asia Pacific Group CEO S.S. Sarwar, EDB Chairman & CEO Bandula Egodage and Ceylon Electricity Board Vice Chairman Professor Kapila Perera on 25 September
Sri Lanka’s January-August exports have surged by a strong 14%, as announced on 25 September. And more than 110 exporters and Chamber reps have thronged the fifth national Exporters’ Forum in Colombo.
“I am pleased to say that according to the latest provisional data by EDB , January to August 2014 exports have increased by a strong 14.03% to $ 7.34 Bn. As committed exporters, it is your valuable efforts that can help us, to move our target, of $ 20 Billion exports, by 2020, under the committed vision, of HE the President Mahinda Rajapaksa” said a satisfied Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka) on 25 September.
A well-known Sri Lankan tea brand received the keen attention of global export experts at the UN’s latest 2014 World Export Development Forum in Rwanda, while the role of Sri Lanka’s apex export body, the EDB, in enhancing SME exports was also revealed to global experts.
“Several Lankan brands play an important part in Sri Lanka’s exports success. Some Lankan brands have been able to compete against larger brands from multinational companies,” said EDB Chairman and CEO Bandula Egodage , taking part in the World Export Development Forum (WEDF) on 16 September in Kigali, Rwanda.
SLEDB organized a technical exposure and awareness programme in Israel from 10-15 September 2014, for a group of growers of the Sri Lanka Protected Agriculture Entrepreneurs Association in the Central province, to provide training & awareness on intensive cultivation methods of fresh fruits & vegetables , other protected agriculture systems, efficient management of water resources & soil, open field irrigation methods, post harvest handling, export packaging and marketing.
The programme was conducted with the assistance of the Honorary Consulate of the Israel, The Sri Lankan Embassy in Israel, MASHAV (Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation) and CINADCO (Center for International Agricultural Development Cooperation) which is functioning under the Department of Agriculture & Rural Development in Israel.
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce together with the Export Development Board of Sri Lanka is making arrangements to lead a business delegation to Indonesia, to explore trade, investment and tourism opportunities in that country.
The Joint Business Promotion Mission to Indonesia will take place from 7 to 11 October, which coincides with the Sri Lanka – Indonesia Joint Economic Commission meeting to be held in Jakarta.
Sri Lanka’s apparel sector is looking to dress more Brazilians as the first ever industry delegation kicks off a promotional tour today to tap potential in the giant South American market.
In an effort to expand the buyer base for Lankan apparels, the Export Development Board (EDB) and the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) together with the Sri Lanka Embassy in Brazil has organised the six day promotional program from 22 to 27 September.
Sri Lanka has begun compliance work on the global consumer end of its exports basket on 18 September. And no less than two top experts from Geneva’s WTO are in town to facilitate the pioneering effort.
“Today, more countries around the world continue to reduce their border tariffs, either unilaterally or through an increasing number of free trade agreements, called as RTAs-Regional Trade Agreements. Non-tariff barriers such as SPS and TBT measures have begun to create a significant impact on international trade. Unfortunately, most of these measures appear to be highly complex and increasingly challenging” said Anura Siriwardene (Secretary, Ministry of Industry and Commerce) on 18 September in Colombo.
Sri Lankan manufactured Footwear exports have doubled during the year 2013, compared 2012, a new study conducted by the Ceylon Chamber has revealed.
According to the study titled ‘Footwear Exports and Imports of Sri Lanka – Statistical Analysis’, which covers the periods of 2006 to 2013, Australia and Italy ranks as the main export markets for Sri Lankan footwear.
Sujatha Weerakoone (DG-EDB) addresses "How to Export Quality Fruit and Vegetable to the EU Region" session held at the EDB auditorium recently.
Sri Lanka's apex export entity has issued a clarion call to the country's exporter community to register with it and enlist in its surging database on 16 September. "Some non-registered exporters, unaware of procedures have brought a bad reputation for Sri Lanka. It is time all Lankan exporters register with EDB" voiced a keen Sujatha Weerakoone (DG-EDB) on 16 September in Colombo.
Sri Lanka's apex export entity – EDB, yesterday claimed that some non-registered exporters with no knowledge of procedures have brought a bad reputation for Sri Lanka.
EDB pointed out that, the European Commission Director General of Health and Consumers had recently informed the National Plant Quarantine Services of Sri Lanka that some consignments of fresh fruits and vegetables (only) exported to EU and Switzerland were contaminated with pests, and that of 350 fresh fruits and vegetables (only) consignments that entered the EU from 2011 to date, 292 were contaminated with pests.
Sri Lanka will be launching its Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China making the biggest leap forward in relations between the two countries in more than 60 years, during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the island next month, official sources revealed.
Mr. Xi will be accompanied by a 150-member top level delegation including senior officials, billionaire businessmen industrialists and investors.
The Chinese leader will become the first President to visit Sri Lanka since former leader Li Xiannian in 1986. His visit assumes significance in strengthening ties between the two countries, with China investing heavily in the island nation, the sources said. The joint feasibility study on the FTA has been finalised and negotiations on formulating the agreement including the negative list are underway between officials of the departments of commerce between the two countries, a senior government official told Business Times.
“Professional service exports present a tremendous opportunity and can speed up government’s ‘$20B exports by 2020’ goal. Medical Tourism is one of the most promising sub-sectors in this. We are ready to work with any and all stakeholders to get this off the ground” said Director General, EDB, Sujatha Weerakoone addressing the kick-off session of EDB's 2015-20 National Masterplan Initiative on Medical Tourism held at EDB last week.
The pioneering session saw top reps from Hemas Hospitals, Asiri Group of Hospitals, Lanka Hospitals, Durdans Hospital, Nawaloka Hospitals PLC, the Health Ministry as well as M.K.S.K Maldeniya (ICT Sector Director-EDB) joining the session. The private sector reps also represent Sri Lanka’s Private Hospital Association (PHA).
The 24th edition of FACETS Sri Lanka 2014, the international gem and jewellery exhibition organised by the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association (SLGJA) ended in a high note. The event was very successful with over 150 stall holders including individual exhibitor pavilions from The National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA) and an SME pavilion from the Export Development Board (EDB).
In addition, over 100 international buyer delegations attended the expo, across China, India, Myanmar, Dubai, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, USA, Russia and Germany. Stall holders from Singapore, Dubai, Myanmar, China and India also participated at the event.
As Sri Lanka’s IT exports topped $ 719 m, a business journalist from world’s fourth largest selling newspaper was taken by surprise by the country’s inroads into one of the most demanding niche software markets in the world. “I am really surprised by your ability in our platforms. This is news!” exclaimed Yuichi Kiriyama, business journalist of Japanese language Mainichi Shimbun, the world’s fourth largest selling newspaper.
Yuichi was addressing a special gathering of the software interest group for the Japanese market held on 5 September in Colombo facilitated by the EDB.
LThe first-ever high level trade and business delegation to Sri Lanka from the world’s ICT leader is now mulled for early December. “I have been able to encourage my Government to renew trade cooperation with Sri Lanka. I have been highly encouraged by the rapid development seen in Sri Lanka. The first-ever Finnish business and investment delegation is now being scheduled for the first week of December 2014,” announced Finland’s Roving Ambassador for Bhutan, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka Rauli Suikkanen on 4 September in Colombo.
Suikkanen was addressing Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen during a courtesy call on Bathiudeen. Also present was EDB Chairman and CEO Bandula Egodage .
Sri Lanka's bilateral trade with Israel has surged by 178% since a trade pact signed in 2007, signaling even closer B2B links between the two countries, a press release issued by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said.
"We have a history of bilateral trade and business cooperation with the State of Israel. This time we took about 40 leading businessmen to Israel from Sri Lanka and completed a successful Business Forum", Sarath Wijesinghe, Sri Lanka's Ambassador in Israel said Friday at a business review meeting in Colombo.
Sri Lanka's spice exports rose 40 percent to $329 million in 2013 from $ 236 million in 2012. Spice export revenue was US$ 115 million in 2009,The Export Development Board (EDB)statistics revealed.
As Sri Lanka's spice exports leaped by 40%, a new program was launched by the EDB last week to boost exports of the perennial crop. Meanwhile, a leading packaging consultant said that the Sri Lankan export packaging sector is now maturing with more ‘high barrier package’ visibility.
“The key factor is how to market our spices. Our spices are traditionally exported in bulk form. Sri Lanka now encourages value added exports and discourages raw exports.
As the first ever Global Rubber Confab to be held in Sri Lanka is announced on 28 August, the country positioned its historic rubber industry to be a $ 3B sector. And a top global rubber body voiced that rubber prices would recover ‘before very long’.
“We are now aiming at an ambitious $3B rubber industry in the coming decade. To arrive at this $3B in a viable manner, it is essential for us to support our rubber farmers. I believe it is time for a long term development plan for this sector. The 2013 rubber exports of $960 Mn is a 100% increase compared to rubber exports five years ago” said a keen Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka) on 29 August in Colombo.
The forthcoming Lanka-China FTA has electrified no less than a $8B global apparel giant who is also the world’s largest shirt maker. “We are very excited about the forthcoming Lanka-China FTA; having duty free market access to China is very important for us as an apparel sourcing firm and the benefits are great.
This is even more important for us since we have considerable income from Asia-30% of our turnover from Calvin Klein brand alone originates from Asia!” said Mark Green, the Executive Vice President of Global Supply Chain of New York’s PVH Corporation on 14 August in Colombo.
Enhanced trade cooperation cemented by a new Joint Trade Committee will open Sri Lanka’s anticipated trade volumes with Africa said Seychelles on 27 August. Lankan exports to Africa’s top blue economy as well as transit passenger volumes to Colombo is now on the increase as a result of recent air connectivity.
“The prospective Joint Trade Committee between Sri Lanka and Seychelles will be Sri Lanka’s platform for accessing the huge African market. Almost all the issues regarding quarantine of certain exports have now been resolved and all requirements met! As a result we are now receiving loads of more Lankan fresh fruits and vegetables than before,” said an upbeat Minister for Finance, Trade and Investment of Seychelles Pierre Laporte in Colombo.