Suresh de Mel, a well-known entrepreneur, assumed duties as the new Chairman of the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) yesterday (December 14). He succeeds the outgoing EDB Chairman Prabhash Subasinghe who ended his one-year tenure early this month.
Speaking at the occasion, Suresh remarked that he was honoured and privileged to be appointed as EDB Chairman and noted that he is committed to grow the country’s exports at a time when the world is going through a pandemic by making use of his experience as a small- and-medium exporter for over 40 years by giving priority to product and market diversification.
Suresh has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Engineering from California Polytechnic State University – USA, and worked in the US as an Agricultural and Environmental Engineer for 10 years before returning home in 1990 and investing in Tangalle, a post-conflict area at the time, to employ unemployed young women and earn foreign exchange for the country by manufacturing designer fishing flies (Artificial Sport Fishing Bait) for export to the US. The company employs 200 women in Tangalle, Ratnapura and Nugegoda, producing the world’s best quality fishing flies for export. He is also the Chairman of EcoWave (Gte) Ltd and EcoWave Travels, which are social enterprises working with 200 spice farmers in Moneragala and Ampara districts, promoting sustainable organic agriculture and responsible eco/agro tourism.
Suresh actively serves on several boards and committees, government and non-government, for the development of regional SMEs, entrepreneurship, vocational training, labour relations, responsible tourism, sustainable agriculture, and exports.