Putting a personal touch on efforts to bolster Sri Lanka’s exports President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday reaffirmed his stance to assist exporters assuring that his Government would leave no stone unturned in supporting foreign exchange earners.
Attending the Presidential Exports Awards held for the 21st time, following a four year hiatus. President Sirisena pointed out that encouragement is a must as foreign reserves in the country are drying up due to decreasing exports. He termed this downtrend a “point of national urgency.”
The pre-eminent standing of Akbar Brothers in the Sri Lankan Tea Industry has once again been affirmed and recognised with sweeping accolades at the Presidential Exports Awards.
Akbar Brothers bagged seven highly-coveted awards at the ceremony held on 16 December, presided over by President Maithripala Sirisena. The company was adjudged the Best Tea Sector Exporter for the years 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. In addition, it won the exalted Best Sri Lanka Overall Exporter (All Sectors) for 2010 and the Best Sri Lankan Brand Exporter (All Sectors) for 2012 and 2013. Most impressively, Akbar Brothers had the singular honour of being the only tea company that has qualified for the Presidential Export Awards.
Sri Lanka’s apex platform to solve exporters’ issues, the Exporters’ Forum, wrapped its seventh session successfully on 27 November with a significant change to the ongoing interaction process; the Lankan exporters may no longer need to agonise till the next forum announcement to find solutions. “You don’t have to wait for this once in three months’ forum but you can now contact us anytime. As we move towards one stop shop solutions, EDB will be restructured and will be made as attractive as possible to exporters,” announced Lankan State Minister of International Trade Sujeewa Senasinghe.
Invigorated by Sri Lanka’s ICT exports surge, the country’s apex export facilitator EDB announced a new ICT/BPO exports target and a mere few hours’ B2B sessions between Lankan and Asia-Pacific ICT firms facilitated by EDB reported a whopping marathon of one-to-one business meet jamboree-right here in Colombo. “Let us try to forge ahead with solid business to business meetings today that will materialise to effective commercial activity. That is how all of us in our region can help each other,” stressed EDB Chairperson and CEO Indira Malwatte on 20 November.
Sri Lanka’s fledgling R&D innovation and start up cluster has hit big time in its maiden funding round and several hi-tech start ups, having crossed their R&D experiments barrier are now poised to commercialise their innovations anytime.
“The government’s vision is to transform Sri Lanka into a strategically important global economic centre. Increasing the share of hi-tech exports is essential to face the intense competition in the global market” stressed Himali Jinadasa, Acting Director General, Export Development Board, (EDB).
Sri Lanka’s present exports lull is due to many reasons but chiefly a throwback from the global market fall-and achieving national export targets is not a journey of a sole institution but requires a collaborative, cross-sectoral push, as stressed by the new Chairperson of Exports Development Board on 05 November.
“Exports are coming down due to various reasons, but chiefly since the global markets have come down-it’s not EDB alone. The Council of Ministers was a beautiful mechanism” announced Indira Malwatte (new Chairperson of EDB) on 05 November.
EDB’s first Lankan packaging pilot project is a hit and has opened the door for the entry of the ‘performance packaging’ trend to the local manufacturing sector for the first time. The new tech not only helps cost savings, but can boost sales revenue by 10-15%.
“With hands-on experience in perishable exports, I know the importance of packaging for exports sector. We thank PUM Netherlands for extending support to EDB and the Lankan packaging sector,” said EDB Chairperson Indira Malwatte on 30 October.
The 33rd Edition of the Anuga International 2015, the biggest General Food and Beverages Exhibition of the world was held in Cologne, Germany from October 10-14, 2015. 7063 companies from 108 nations exhibited their products to the 160,000 trade visitors from 192 Nations.
Indira Malwatte took office as the first woman to lead the Export Development Board (EDB) yesterday. “I am very confident of making a positive contribution to the export effort of our country,” newly-appointed EDB Chairperson Malwatte said.
Giving a sudden boost to Sri Lanka’s national exports push, the country’s apex export facilitator, the Export Development Board (EDB) has been directed to perform as a private sector entity henceforth to realise the country’s export reforms.
This makes the EDB itself a top reform target and formulation of sub sector level export targets with greatly increased export value addition is now on the cards.
Sri Lanka’s apex export facilitator EDB stepped up its efforts to stamp ‘Brand Sri Lanka’ in the global batik map – and linking with top institutional stakeholders, EDB is directly accessing the SMEs of the country in this new initiative, as announced on 8 October in Colombo.
Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said that the government would be forwarding the formal application to regain the GSP Plus preferential trade facility from the European Union (EU) by the end of this year in the backdrop of recent international developments. “After the resolution in Geneva passed, we wrote to the EU. Before the end of the year, we will be making the formal application, and hopefully by middle next year we will be able to bring in GSP Plus,” he said.
As Sri Lanka’s ranking surged in the latest Global Innovation Index, two apex Lankan state institutions are joining forces for the first time to boost the country’s hi-tech and innovation exports to the next level – and first ever hi tech R&D and Innovation Forum for Lankan CEOs is now on the cards, as revealed on 30 September in Colombo. “We welcome COSTI’s collaborative interest to partner with EDB. It is time we join forces to help our hi-tech exports to the next level,” said EDB Chairman and CEO Bandula Egodage.
Chairman Egodage was in discussions with the three-member team from the Coordinating Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI) of Sri Lanka. The 2013 established COSTI is the apex Lankan body coordinating and monitoring science, tech and innovation in the country while promoting value addition and commercialisation of them in line with the National Science Technology and Innovation (STI) Strategy of Sri Lanka. Visiting COSTI team consisted of COSTI Chairperson and CEO Prof. Sirimali Fernando, Project Director Prof. Ajith de Alwis and Program Director Shehan Ratnavale. Joining the discussion were EDB DG-Actg Himali Jinadasa and other top officials and sector directors of EDB.
Chairman of FACETS Sri Lanka Juzar Adamaly said that the next goal of FACETS Sri Lanka is to establish Colombo as the Gem and Jewellery Hub of Asia. He made this remark while officially declaring the opening of 25th ‘FACETS Sri Lanka’ International Gem and Jewellery Exhibition in BMICH.
FACETS Sri Lanka 2015, the annual international gem and jewellery show, will be the flagship event of the sector.
More than 150 exhibitors will showcase their products from today till Sunday at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre. . “It is over a 10,000 foot fall this year throughout the four days of the exhibition. A large number of buyers from China have confirmed while over 100 international buyer delegation are expected to attend the show from China, India, Dubai, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, USA, Russia, Norway and Germany,” one of the top gem and jewellery exhibitors Zam Gems Managing Director Ahsan Refai told the Daily News business.
Sri Lanka will seriously consider economic reforms during next five years to make its production of goods and services “the most efficient and competitive” in this part of the world, MP Dr. Harsha de Silva said.
The first ever series of international MoUs to blossom under Sri Lanka’s new consensual government are scheduled to go live tomorrow 23 August in Colombo-and the historic pacts are centred around none other than Sri Lanka’s global trade. “Sri Lanka EDB is proud to host the 28th CEO meeting of the Asian Trade Promotion Forum (ATPF) in Colombo. ATPF has honoured Sri Lanka by bringing this series to Colombo for the first time in its history” said Bandula Egodage (Chairman & CEO of EDB) on 21 August.
Sri Lanka's apex export facilitator EDB has clinched a top global talent award and has also emerged as a pioneer Lankan public institution to win the coveted accolade, as revealed on 16 August.
"The EDB has won Asia's Best Employer Brand Awards 2015 as recognition for the valuable contribution made by it to be the Most Sought After Employer. I am pleased to say that we won this award having competed with 33 countries," said Bandula Egodage, Chairman and CEO-EDB.