The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) under the direction of the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade launched the first in a series of awareness programmes under the National Programme of Development of 2000 exporters by the year 2020 in Jaffna (23rd March 2017).
The EDB was entrusted this task of implementing this programme with the assistance of the relevant government institutions, Trade Chambers, NGOs/INGOs and Provincial Administrations in the regions.
The Prime Minister presenting his economic statement in Parliament emphasized the need to broaden the economic base of the country to sustain a higher growth through increasing exports by encouraging domestic enterprises to invest in export industry
The Government having identified the development of exports as one of the key strategies for Sri Lanka to achieve long term economic and social objectives of the country to ensure greater prosperity for the people launched this programme to maximize the utilization of regional resources to the export development supply chain and to increase the SME sector contribution to exports from Sri Lanka.
The first of the series of such programme was held on 23rd March 2017 at the District Secretariat of Jaffna is expected to enable regional exporters to explore new opportunities, set up and develop new enterprises to enter global markets.
Malik Samarawickrema, the Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, Sujeewa Senesinghe, the State Minister of the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade, The Governor of the Northern region Hon. Reginald Cooray, Vijayakala Maheswaran, the State Minister of Child Affairs, Mrs. Chandani Wijewardana, Secretary, Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade, the Chief Minister of the Northern region, C. Vigneswaran, M. A. Sumanthiran, Member of Parliament, Ms. Indira Malwatte, Chairperson and CEO of the Export Development Board, Ms. Jeewani Siriwardena, Director General among others graced this occasion.
The Northern region with an abundance of natural resources in terms of minerals, agricultural produce, fisheries, not forgetting the cultural and human resources offer innumerable opportunities for export development in Agro based industries, fisheries, Lifestyle product, IT and Tourism sectors.
Minister Malik Samarawickrema stated he was keen to provide all required infrastructure facilities to make this programme a reality and create a conducive environment especially to the youth and women in the Northern Province to actively engage themselves and be an important part in the country’s export development effort in line with the objectives of the present government towards getting the regions involved in the country’s export development exercise.
The launch of the programme was culminated with, but was targeted towards making available opportunities to showcase at a mini exhibition exportable products from Sri Lanka with particular reference to those products available in the Northern province.
Another objective was providing advice on how to prepare such products for the export market by showing the knowledge of experienced businessmen.
The third intension was conducting business clinics and one-to-one meetings with the industry/product/ market specialists to resolve issues faced by potential and existing exporters in the Northern region
This Forum made it possible for all participating enterprises that participated in this programme to build a long term network and form a sustainable partnership to achieve the goals of the nationally important programme of developing 2000 exporters by the year 2020.
The officials of the Jaffna District Secretariat led by the District Secretary facilitated to host the event at their premises.