Sri Lankan coir has grabbed the attention of a leading global automotive firm. "I am happy to say that our coir is now used by Mercedes Benz. This is the first time we learn that our coir have gone to such high levels" said a pleased Sujatha Weerakoone, Director General of EDB on January 22.
EDB Director General Weerakoone was addressing "Exporting to Korea" event, organised and held at the EDB. The session was honoured by a 16 member strong South Korean undergrad delegation led by Prof. Bell C.J. Park of Myongji University, South Korea, who made a presentation. Also in attendance were more than 100 reps from various Sri Lankan exporters.
"Korea is the 15th largest economy in the world with a high per capita exceeding $ 27900. At the moment our total trade with South Korea is around $ 380 Mn" said EDB Director General Weerakoone, and added: "Sri Lanka’s share of imports to South Korea are very low but we have great opportunities-their well developed automotives need our high quality rubber and coir. I am happy to say that our coir is now used by Mercedes Benz. This is the first time we learn that our coir have gone to such high levels. Also there are potentials for our apparels and electric and electronic parts sector in the Korean market."
In 2021, Sri Lanka exported $2.2 Mn of coir pads and $ 8.1 Mn of coir ropes. Germany ranked as the third largest buyer of Lankan coir pads. In 2012, total trade with South Korea stood at $366 Mn. Apparel was the dominant export item from Sri Lanka, taking 30% of total exports earnings from South Korea in 2012. 11% of Sri Lanka’s exports to South Korea in 2012 were coir fiber, ranking third export product to South Korea behind apparel and industrial and surgical gloves.